EIGHTY-EIGHT EASY DEPARTURES by accinent

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									                        108 EASY MITIGATING FACTORS
                           (Formerly ―88 Easy Departures‖)

             Cases Granting, Affirming, Or Suggesting Mitigating Factors


                                         by

                                  Michael R. Levine

                                  February 1, 2005


                                  (Updated Monthly)




Michael R. Levine
400 S.W. Sixth Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204
Phone 503-546-3927
Fax     503-224-3203
Email: MichaelLevineESQ@aol.com
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                                                   TABLE OF CONTENTS

Paragraph No.                                                                                                                             Page


Introduction: Some Useful Observations On mitigating factors .....................................................9

1     The advisory guideline ―greater than necessary‖ or too draconian, and the purpose of sentencing
         is satisfied by a sentence below the guidelines.....................................................................11

2.        Criminal Conduct Atypical And Outside Heartland Of The Guideline. ............................12

3.        Amount Of Drugs Distributed Overstated The Defendant‘s Culpability Because The Drugs
          Were Distributed Over A Lengthy Period Of Time. ..........................................................13

4.        Downward Adjustment For Role In The Offense Is Inadequate To Show Defendant‘s
          Peripheral Involvement. .....................................................................................................13

5.        Defendant Had No Knowledge Of Or Control Over Amount Or Purity of Drugs He
          Delivered. ...........................................................................................................................14

5A.       Defendant Is Just An Addict Who Delivered Small Quantities. ........................................14

6.        The Drugs Were Of Very Low Purity. ...............................................................................15

7.        Uncharged Relevant Conduct Substantially Increases The Sentence. ...............................15

8.        The Defendant's Criminal History Overstates His Propensity To Commit Crimes. ........15

9.        Length Of Time Until First Crime. ...................................................................................18

10.       Loss Table Overstates Amount Of Loss Or Seriousness Of Offense. ...............................18

11.       Amount of Loss Triggers Multiple Enhancements At High Offense Level.......................19

12        Money Laundering Only Incidental To Underlying Crime Or Where Not Drug Related..20

*13.      The Defendant's Crime Constituted Aberrant Behavior. ...................................................20

14.       Rendering Aid To Victim. .................................................................................................22

*15.      Defendant's Conduct Did Not Threaten The Harm Sought To Be Prevented By The Law
          Proscribing The Offense – Perceived Lesser Harm. ..........................................................23


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*16.    To Enable Defendant To Be Eligible For Boot Camp, Counseling, Or Other Rehabilitative
        Program. .............................................................................................................................24

17.    Departure To Substitute Community Confinement For Prison…………………………....24

18.     To Enable Defendant To Make Restitution. .......................................................................25

*19.    The Defendant Suffered Extraordinary Physical Or Sexual Abuse As Child. ...................25

20.     The Defendant Was Exposed To Domestic Violence. .......................................................26

21.     Holocaust Survivor. ...........................................................................................................26

22.     The Defendant Is Elderly . .................................................................................................13

22A.     Unlikely to be A Recidivist...............................................................................................27

23      The Defendant is Youthful and of Immature Mental Age.................................................27

24.     Excellent Employment History. .........................................................................................27

*25.    The Defendant Manifested "Super" Acceptance Of Responsibility. .................................28

26.     Defendant Showed Extreme Remorse. ..............................................................................29

*27     Post-Offense, Post-Conviction, And Post-Sentencing Rehabilitation. ..............................29

28.     Post-Offense Restitution. ...................................................................................................33

29.     Voluntary Disclosure Of A Crime. ....................................................................................33

30. Voluntary Cessation of Criminal Activity before discovery................................................34

31.     The Defendant Showed Utter Lack Of Sophistication. ......................................................34

32.     Cooperation With Authorities To Prosecute Others. .........................................................34

33.    Cooperation But Not To Prosecute Others……………………………………………… 34

34.     Cooperation With The Judiciary And Administration Of Justice. .....................................35

35.     Departure For Cooperation When Government Refuses To Make 5K1.1 Motion. ...........35

36. Cooperation that saved life of government informant ......................................................35

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37.      Cooperation With Congressional Committee. ...................................................................36

38.      Cooperation With State Or Local Authorities....................................................................36

39.      Cooperation By Third Party On Behalf Of Defendant. ......................................................36

40.      Attempted Cooperation With IRS. .....................................................................................36

*41.     Extraordinary Family Situations Or Responsibilities Or Where Incarceration Would Have
         Extraordinary Effect On Innocent Family Members. .........................................................36

42.      Incarceration Would Have Extraordinary Effect On Business Causing Loss Of Jobs. .....39

43.      Exceptional Good Works, Charitable And Community Activities. ..................................41

44       Good Deeds (e.g., saving a life)……………………………………………………………41

45.      Defendant‘s Status As War Refugee And His Lack Of Education. ...................................41

46.      Defendant‘s Extreme Anguish From Involving Son In Scheme. .......................................41

*47.     Defendant‘s Diminished Mental Capacity. .......................................................................45

48.      Mental Retardation.............................................................................................................45

49.      Compulsive Gambling Disorder . ......................................................................................46

50     Battered Woman Syndrome................................................................................................. 46

51.      Defendant‘s Extraordinary Mental And Emotional Condition. .........................................47

52.      Defendant Was Merely An Aider And Abettor. ................................................................47

53.      Defendant Responsible For Only Part Of Loss. .................................................................47

54.      Defendant Was Already Punished By Parole Commission On Earlier Pre-Guideline Offense
         (By Loss Of Parole). ..........................................................................................................47

55.      Defendant Already Punished By Having Earlier Sentence Increased Because Of Instant
         Crime..................................................................................................................................47




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56. Defendant already punished by home detention before appeal.............................................. 48.

57.      Prosecutor's Manipulation Of The Charges, Even If No Bad Faith. ..................................48

58.      Prosecution Or Defense Misconduct Prejudices Defendant‘s Plea Bargaining. ................48

59.      Prosecutor‘s Misconduct In Failing To Disclose Brady Material. .....................................48

60.      Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel. ....................................................................................49

61.      Delay In Arrest Or Charge. ................................................................................................49

62.      Gender Discrimination In Plea Bargaining. .......................................................................49

63.      Prosecutor‘s Misconduct – Selective Prosecution – Improper Investigative Techniques. 49

64.      Minimal Role In The Offense. ...........................................................................................50

65.      Small Profit In Stolen Bond Scheme. ................................................................................50

66     No Profit Or Motive or Financial Gain.................................................................................50

67.      Vulnerability To Abuse or Victimization In Prison. ..........................................................50

68. Defendant Raped By Guard Pending Sentencing.................................................................52

69. Defendant Shot by police during arrest..................................................................................52

70. Defendant‘s Subjected To Extraordinary Punishment Not Contemplated by Guidelines. ....52

*71. Bureau of Prisons refuses to follow policy of honoring judicial recommendation to                                  place
defendants in community treatment center....................................................................................52

72.      Solitary Confinement Or Harsh Nature Of Defendant‘s Incarceration . ............................52

73.      Defendant Subject To Abuse In Prison. .............................................................................53

74.      Cultural Heritage And Sociological Factors. .....................................................................54

75.      Loss Of Business, Assets, And Source Of Income. ...........................................................54

76.      The Defendant's Tragic Personal History. .........................................................................55


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77.     Victim's Conduct Substantially Provoked The Offense Behavior. ....................................55

78.     Defendant Has Extraordinary Physical Impairment Or Bad Health and BOP unable to
        provide adequate care.........................................................................................................55

79.     Military Service-Extraordinary. .........................................................................................57

80.     Delay In Sentencing Which Deprives Defendant Of Chance For Concurrent Sentence.. .57

81.     Pre-Indictment Delay That Prejudices Defendant. .............................................................58

82.     Imperfect Entrapment – Aggressive Encouragement By Agents. ......................................58

*83     Sentencing Entrapment. .....................................................................................................58

*84.    Duress Or Coercion............................................................................................................59

85.     Sentence Erroneously Served. ............................................................................................61

86.     Disparity In Sentencing. .....................................................................................................61

87      Disparity In Plea-Bargaining Policies Between Districts...................................................62

88.     Government Responsible For Criminal Behavior. .............................................................62

89.     Dual Prosecution By State And Federal Governments. .....................................................62

90.     Breach Of Plea Bargain Re: Substantial Assistance. .........................................................63

91.     Government Misconduct In Contacting D Without Notice To Counsel And D's Cooperation.
        ............................................................................................................................................63

92.     Civil Forfeiture...................................................................................................................63

93.     Punishment For Acquitted Conduct. ..................................................................................63

94.     Credit For Time Served On INS Detainer..........................................................................64

*95.    Credit For State Time Whether Related Or Not. ...............................................................65

96.     Harshness of Pretrial or Presentence Confinement. ...........................................................65

97.    Lengthy Pretrial Confinement‘s Adverse Effect On Defense Preparation...........................66


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*98.     Defendant Is Deportable Alien Who Faces More Sever Prison Conditions Than Non-Alien.
         ............................................................................................................................................67

99.      Alien Who Will Be Deported Because Of Guilty Plea Punished Too Severely ................67

100.     Alien Who Reentered For Good Motive Or To Prevent Perceived Greater Harm . ..........68

101.     Alien Who Consents To Deportation. ................................................................................68

102.     Alien Who Illegally Reenters And Whose Prior Aggravated Felony Is Not Serious.........68

103.     Alien Who Has Assimilated Into American Culture. ........................................................69

104 Alien who receives no credit on INS detainer...............70

105.     Defendant Does Not Understand Socially Unacceptable Nature Of Child Porn. ..............70

*106 The Totality Of The Circumstances. ..................................................................................71

107.     Sua Sponte Departure By Court .........................................................................................72

108.       To Be Announced!




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                              108 EASY MITIGATING FACTORS

                                (Formerly ―88 Easy Departures‖)

                                                by

                                      Michael R. Levine**1

Date:   February 1, 2005 (Updated Monthly)

Caveat: CHECK ALL CITES!! Mitigating Factors marked with an ―*‖ should be considered in
every case. Note that many categories overlap.


Introduction: Some Useful Observations On Mitigating Factors

        In United States v. Booker, 125 S.Ct. 738, 2005 WL 50108 (Jan. 12, 2005), the Supreme
Court held that the sentencing guidelines are advisory only, not mandatory. The other factors set
forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3555 (a) must also be considered in fashioning the appropriate sentence. See
United States v. Ameline, ___ F.3d ____, 2005 WL ______, U.S. App. LEXIS 2032 (9th
Cir. Feb. 9, 2005) (advisory guideline range is ―only one of many factors that a
sentencing judge must consider in determining an appropriate individualized sentence‖).
 These factors include the nature and circumstances of the offense, the history and characteristics
of the defendant, the need for the sentence imposed to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to
promote respect for law and to provide just punishment for the offense, to afford adequate
deterrence to criminal conduct, to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; to
provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other
correctional treatment in the most effective manner, the need to avoid unwarranted sentencing
disparities, and to provide restitution to the victims. Booker at 19; Hence, this paper now uses
the term “mitigating factors” instead of ―downward departures.‖ See Dissent of Justice Stevens
in Booker at 35 (―there can be no departure from a mere suggestion.‖).

      The district court may now consider even those mitigating factors that the advisory
guidelines prohibit: e.g., poverty, racial discrimination and humiliation, drug abuse and
addiction, dysfunctional family background, lack of guidance as a youth, etc. Ameline; United
States v. Ranum, 2005 WL 161223 (E.D. Wisc. Jan. 19, 2005) (―The guidelines' prohibition of
considering these factors cannot be squared with the Section 3553(a)(1) requirement that the

**Michael R. Levine is a graduate of Columbia University and the Boalt Hall School of Law at
U.C. Berkeley. He was Hawaii‘s first Federal Public Defender from 1982-1990 and an adjunct
professor of law at the University of Hawaii law school. After twenty years as an assistant
federal defender in Los Angeles and Portland, he is now in private practice emphasizing federal
criminal trials and post conviction litigation.

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court evaluate the "history and characteristics" of the defendant‘ ); U.S. v. Myers 2005 WL
165314, *2 (S.D.Iowa,2005) (―The guidelines prohibition of considering these factors cannot be
squared with the § 3553(a)(1) requirement that the court evaluate the "history and characteristics"
of the defendant....Thus, in cases in which a defendant's history and character are positive,
consideration of all of the § 3553(a) factors might call for a sentence outside the guideline
range‖)
 see also 18 U.S.C. § 3661( ―no limitation shall be placed on the information concerning the
background, character, and conduct of a person convicted of an offense which a court of the
United States may receive and consider for the purpose of imposing an appropriate sentence‖
(cited in Booker at 15). Consider also that Congress had directed that the district court ―shall
impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply with [the purposes of
sentencing]‖ (emphasis added). 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). This is the ―primary directive‖ of the
sentencing statute. Ranum, at ____

        Remember also that The Supreme Court said in Koon v. U.S. , 518 U.S. 81, 113 (1996), that
―[i]t has been uniform and constant in the federal judicial tradition for the sentencing judge to
consider every convicted person as an individual and every case as a unique study in the human
failings that sometimes mitigate, sometimes magnify, the crime and the punishment to ensue.‖

          Caveat: Recall that effective April 30, 2003, the Feeney Amendment sharply cut
back the grounds for departures in certain sex and child porn cases. Booker’s remedial opinion
did not expressly mention these cutbacks, and Booker‘s effect on the Amendment is not clear.
But see U.S. v. Detwiler 338 F.Supp. 2d 1166 (D.Or. 2004) (holding the Feeney Amendment
renders mandatory sentencing guidelines an unconstitutional violation of the separation of
powers).

          Even before Booker, the Sentencing Guidelines ―place[d] essentially no limit on the
number of potential factors that may warrant a departure.‖ Koon 518 U.S. at 106; U.S. v.
Coleman, 188 F.3d 354, 358 (6th Cir.1999) (en banc) (there are a ―potentially infinite number of
factors which may warrant a departure‖); 18 U.S.C. §3661 (―no limitation shall be placed on the
information‖ a court can receive and consider for purposes of imposing an appropriate sentence).
 A departure is warranted if the case is ―unusual enough for it to fall outside the heartland of
cases in the guidelines.‖ Even when the guidelines were mandatory, they did not ―displace the
traditional role of the district court in bringing compassion and common sense to the sentencing
process….In areas where the Sentencing Commission has not spoken . . . district courts should
not hesitate to use their discretion in devising sentences that provide individualized justice.‖
U.S. v. Williams, 65 F.3d 301, 309-310 (2d Cir. 1995); ―It is important, too, to realize that
departures are an important part of the sentencing process because they offer the opportunity to
ameliorate, at least in some aspects, the rigidity of the Guidelines themselves. District judges,
therefore, need not shrink from utilizing departures when the opportunity presents itself and
when circumstances require such action to bring about a fair and reasonable sentence.‖ U.S. v.
Gaskill, 991 F.2d 82, 86 (3rd Cir. 1993). ―The Guidelines are not a straightjacket for district
judges.‖ U.S. v. Cook, 938 F.2d 149, 152 (9th Cir. 1991); The Guidelines ―do not require a


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judge to leave compassion and common sense at the door to the courtroom." U.S. v. Dominguez,
 296 F.3d 192, 196 n. 7 (3rd Cir. 2002) (quoting U.S. v. Johnson, 964 F.2d 124, 125 (2d
Cir.1992)); .‖ U.S. v. Blarek II, 7 F.Supp. 2d 192, 211 (EDNY 1998) ( ―To impose the harsh
sentence suggested by Probation and the government under the Guidelines without appropriate
downward departures would amount to an act of needless cruelty given the nature of the crimes
committed and the personal circumstances of these defendants‖). Finally, remember that "[i]f
the 600-plus pages of the most recent set of sentencing guidelines have taught us anything, it is
that punishment cannot be reduced to an algorithm." U.S. v. Myers , 2005 WL 165314, *1
(S.D.Iowa Jan. 26, 2005)

       Practice tip: In arguing for the existence of mitigating factors, defense attorneys ―will be
most effective when they are creative, industrious, spirited, and well-financed in developing and
presenting [mitigating factor] arguments—e.g., when counsel formulates novel legal bases for
departures and marshals compelling facts through the use of hired experts and other witnesses.‖
Douglas A. Berman, From Lawlessness to Too Much Law? Exploring The Risk of Disparity From
Differences in Defense Counsel Under Guidelines Sentencing, Iowa Law Review (January 2002) at
456.


                              108 Easy Mitigating Factors

*1.    The advisory guideline “greater than necessary” or too draconian, and the purpose of
       sentencing is satisfied by a sentence below the guidelines.

       U.S. v. Jones, 2005 WL 121730 (D.Me.,2005)(post Booker, where mentally ill defendant
       convicted of possessing firearm and guidelines are 12 to 18 months, and where he doesn‘t
       qualify for other downward departures, and because guidelines only advisory, a sentence
       below the guidelines to Zone C (6 months—time served) will better insure continuing
       medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner and ―the marginal
       protection to the public afforded by a few more months in prison is more than offset by the
       increased risk upon this defendant's later release after the interruption of his treatment and
       other regimens‖ So the sentence imposed ―will in all likelihood better protect the public over
       thelongterm.‖);

       United States v. Redemann, 295 F. Supp. 2d 887 (E.D. Wisc. 2003) (in bank fraud case
       where guidelines were 18-24 months, court departed downward two levels in part because
       case outside the heartland and the guideline sentence was ―greater than necessary‖ to satisfy
       the ―purposes‖ of sentencing 5K2.20. ―Courts have long recognized that where the sentence
       called for by the guidelines would result in punishment greater than necessary the court can
       depart downward.‖ Here D had been civilly prosecuted by the office of the comptroller of
       the currency and had to pay $75,000, suffered adverse publicity in small town, ruined his
       business, and caused ill health and ultimate death of his wife—so ―the primary purposes of
       sentencing were partially achieved before the case was filed....and [the collateral punishment]


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       partially satisfied the need for just punishment—district judges may consider such successive
       punishments ...in deciding whether to depart....‖; also general deterrence achieved given what
       happened to the defendant ); United States v. Gaind, 829 F.Supp. 669 (S.D.N. Y. 1993)
       (departure granted in part because the destruction of the defendant's business already
       achieved to a significant extent some although not all of the objectives otherwise required to
       be sought through the sentencing process so 18 U.S.C. section 3553(a) , which states that
       "court shall impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary" to achieve the
       purposes of sentencing ―requires me to depart downward from the Guidelines‖), aff’d, 31
       F.3d 73 (2nd Cir. 1994).


        Tip: Argue the advisory guidelines are overly harsh or draconian. See United States
v. Stockton 968 F.2d 715, 721 (8th Cir 1992) (Bright, Senior Judge, Concurring) ( guideline
sentence ―have gone awry‖ with sentence of 20 years for first time meth offender and is
―excessively long‖ and ―greater than necessary‖ and ―cannot be justified in a civilized society‖);
 United States v. Andruska, 964 F.2d 640, 646-47 (7th Cir. 1992)(Will, Senior Judge,
concurring) ("the irrationality and draconian nature of the Guidelines sentencing process is again
unhappily reflected in this case‖); United States v. England, 966 F.2d 403, 410 (8th Cir. 1992)
(Bright, J., concurring)(Although not illegal, the "draconian" sentences in this methamphetamine
case "emanate from a scheme gone awry."). United States v. Harrington, 947 F.2d 956, 964
(D.C. Cir. 1991) (Edwards, J., concurring) (the guidelines "often produce harsh results that are
patently unfair because they fail to take account of individual circumstances...."); U.S. v.
Molina, 963 F.Supp. 213, *215 (E.D.N.Y.,1997)(commenting on ―[t]he all-too-familiar
harshness required by rigid federal Guidelines...and the depredations they wreak upon individual
defendants and their families.‖)


*2.    Criminal Conduct Atypical And Outside The Heartland Of The Guideline.

         USSG ch. 1. Pt A comment 4(b)(departure proper where conduct "atypical" and "significantly
differs from the norm" of conduct covered by the guideline); Koon, 518 U.S. at 100 ("the severity of
the misconduct, its timing, and the disruption it causes" are factors which influence a district court's
determination of whether the misconduct in a particular instance makes the case atypical); U.S. v.
Parish, 308 F.3d 1025 (9th Cir. 2002) (eight level departure granted in child porn case because
defendant‘s possession of photographs, which were automatically downloaded when he viewed the
documents, was outside the heartland of much more serious crimes that typical pornographers
engage in, according to psychiatrist) [distinguish U.S. v. Thompson, 315 F.3d 1071 (9th Cir. 2002)
(no departure because not outside heartland where D not only deliberately possessed but also
distributed porn)]; U.S. v. Sicken, 223 F.3d 1169 (10th Cir. 2000) (where anti-nuclear protestors,
convicted of sabotage, destroyed property at missile sight but posed no real danger to national
security, four level departure proper because district court could consider that guideline failed to
adequately consider range of seriousness of sabotage offenses and this case outside the heartland);
U.S. v. Sanchez-Rodriguez, 161 F.3d 556, 561 (9th Cir. 1998) (en banc) (affirming downward


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departure in sentencing for illegal reentry following aggravated felony based on minimal amount of
drugs involved in underlying felony); U.S. v. Stockheimer, 157 F.3d 1082, 1091 (7th Cir.1998)
(noting permissibility of downward departure where intended loss related to fraud conviction
overstated seriousness of offense in comparison to realistic possibility of actual loss);



        District Court

         U.S. v. Rosenthal, 266 F.Supp.2d 1068 (N.D. Cal. 2003) (Breyer, J.) (in marijuana case,
downward departure to one day in jail from 30-month range granted because defendant reasonably
believed he was authorized by city of Oakland to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes taking this
outside the heartland of drug cases); U.S. v. Allen, 250 F.Supp.2d 317 (SDNY 2002)(Where D
convicted of drugs and guns, D entitled to 8 level departure under USSG 5K2.0 from 80 months to
30 months because his mental immaturity-even though 21 behaves like 14 year old and psychological
problems and mild retardation take case out of heartland of drug and gun cases); U.S. v. Singh, 224
F.Supp.2d 962 (E.D.Pa. 2002) (where defendant illegally reentered in order to visit his dying mother
and only intended to stay in country one week –as evidenced by airline ticket—departure from 37
months to 21 months proper); U.S. v. Koczuk, 166 F.Supp. 2d 757 (ED.N.Y. 2001) (where D
acquitted of five counts of illegally importing caviar but convicted of single count with market value
less than $100,000, but where co-D convicted of six counts of importing $11million dollars worth,
offense level ―has been extraordinarily magnified by a circumstance that bears little relation to
defendant‘s role in the offense‖ – here D‘s role in conspiracy ―bore little correlation to 11 million
dollars because D ―was not actively involved in co-D business was ―merely a low level employee –
chauffeur and interpreter – who ―took orders from co-D‖4-level minimal role reduction simply not
adequate); U.S. v. Nachamie, 121 F.Supp.2d 285 , 297(S.D.N.Y. 2000) (the circuit has recognized
that a district court can consider a defendant's initial lack of intent in granting a downward departure
under §5K2.0. That defendants did not join Nachamie's scheme with criminal intent – and then
operated for an additional period of time with "diminished" intent – makes this an "atypical" case
that "significantly differs from the norm" and therefore falls outside the "heartland" of the fraud
Guidelines.); see Lesser Harms below, ¶12.

3.      The Amount Of Drugs Distributed Overstated The Defendant’s Culpability Because
        The Drugs Were Distributed Over A Lengthy Period Of Time.

         U.S. v. Genao, 831 F.Supp. 246 (S.D.N.Y. 1993) (because the guidelines do not consider the
relationship between the length of the distribution period and the quantity distributed, court may
depart downward where total quantity was distributed over substantial period of time), aff‘d in part,
U.S. v. Lara, 47 F.3d 60, 66 (2d Cir. 1995) (same at least for offense levels over 36). [Tip: renewed
vitality in light of Booker]

     4 Downward Adjustment For Role In The Offense Is Inadequate To Show Defendant’s
     Peripheral Involvement.


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        Caveat: For crimes committed after October 27, 2003, the Guidelines prohibit departures
based on aggravating or mitigating roles, which "may be taken into account only under" USSG
3B1.1 and 3B1.2. See new USSG 5K2 (d) (3); 5H1.7. [Tip: but highly questionable caveat now in
light of Booker] For crimes committed before October 27, 2003, see U.S. v. Restrepo, 936 F.2d
661, 667 (2d Cir. 1991) (a departure may be justified where "an offense level has been
extraordinarily magnified by a circumstance that bears little relation to the defendant's role in the
offense"); U.S. v. Stuart, 22 F.3d 76, 83-84 (3d Cir. 1994) (court may depart where offense level
overstates culpability due to external circumstances, even where defendant's conduct renders him
ineligible for §3B1.2 adjustment); U.S. v. Alba, 933 F.2d 1117, 1121 (2d Cir. 1991) ("though
limited participation in the offense is a factor taken into consideration by the Sentencing
Commission, a departure is justified here because the defendant played only a small role in the sale,
and indeed was unaware he was involved in a drug transaction until "shortly before the incident.").

         U.S. v. Koczuk, 166 F.Supp. 2d 757 (ED.N.Y. 2001) (where D acquitted of five counts but
convicted of single count of importing caviar with market value less than $100,000, but where co-D
convicted of six counts of importing $11million dollars worth, offense level ―has been
extraordinarily magnified by a circumstance that bears little relation to defendants’ role in the
offense‖ – here D‘s role in conspiracy ―bore little correlation to 11 million dollars because D ―was
not actively involved in co-D business was ―merely a low level employee – chauffeur and interpreter
– who ―took orders from co-D‖4-level minimal role reduction simply not adequate); U.S. v. Bruder,
103 F.Supp.2d 155, 181 (E.D.N.Y. 2000) (where police officer assisted another in sexual assault of
prisoner (Louima), two level departure granted in addition to two level adjustment for minor role
because adjustment inadequate to show peripheral role).

5.     Defendant Had No Knowledge Of, Or Control Over, Amount Or Purity of Drugs He
       Delivered.

        U.S. v. Mikaelian, 168 F.3d 380 (9th Cir. 1999), amended,180 F.3d 1091 (low purity of
heroin cannot be categorically excluded as ground for departure); U.S. v. Mendoza, 121 F.3d
510 (9th Cir. 1997) (the district court has discretion to depart where the defendant had no
knowledge of or control over the amount or purity of the drugs, if the court determines that the
facts are outside the heartland of such cases – because that ground is not one categorically
proscribed ); U.S. v. Chalarca, 95 F.3d 239, 245 (2d Cir.1996) (upholding a downward departure
when the district court found the defendant had no knowledge of any particular quantity of
cocaine and no particular quantity was foreseeable to him in connection with the conspiracy of
which he was a member).

5A.    Defendant Is Just An Addict Who Delivered Small Quantities.

        U.S. v. Williams, 78 F.Supp.2d 189 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) (relatively minor nature of defendant's
prior and current drug convictions warranted departure from the career offender guidelines; in each
prior defendant was a street seller, the lowest level on the distribution chain and the most easily


                                               - 14 -
replaced by those who operate the distribution network), disapproved U.S. v. Mishoe, 241 F.3d 214
(2d Cir. 2001) (reversing district court‘s grant of departure, which should not automatically be given
to street level dealers; however, that prior sentences were lenient may provide basis for downward
departure from criminal history category in particular case); U.S. v. Webb, 966 F.Supp. 16 (D.D.C.
1997) (departure from 70 to 40 months granted where D only an addict who could have been arrested
after he sold agent small quantities on two earlier occasions, but who instead was arrested after third
delivery of over 50 grams. Courts need to distinguish major dealers from addicts), reversed, 134
F.3d 403 (D.C. Cir. 1998). (Rationale and results of the reversals must be reconsidered in light
of Booker)

6.     The Drugs Were Of Very Low Purity.

        U.S. v. Mikaelian, 168 F.3d 380, 390 (9th Cir. 1999) (―We agree that the low purity of
heroin involved in a crime cannot be categorically excluded as a basis for a downward departure‖;
however D presented no evidence that heroin of four percent purity is unusually impure; nor did he
even indicate that the expert witness he requested would so testify); U.S. v. Berroa-Medrano, 303
F.3d 277 (3rd Cir. 2002) (circuit court observes that district judge mitigated harsh sentence by
granting substantial downward departure for ―low drug purity‖ in a sentence reduction of over 5
years).

7.     Uncharged Relevant Conduct Substantially Increases The Sentence.

        U.S. v. White, 240 F.3d 127, 136 (2d Cir. 2001) (where D convicted of selling large amounts
of drugs near school and witnesses testified to numerous uncharged sales over long period, contrary
to view of district court, court had authority to depart downward (from 240-year sentence!) ―where
findings as to uncharged relevant conduct made by the sentencing court based on a preponderance of
the evidence substantially increase the defendant's sentence under the Sentencing Guidelines‖); U.S.
v. Cordoba-Murgas, 233 F.3d 704, 709 (2d Cir.2000); U.S. v. Gigante, 94 F.3d 53, 56 (2d
Cir.1996); U.S. v. Koczuk, 166 F. Supp. 2d 757 (ED.N.Y. 2001) (where D acquitted of five counts
but convicted of single count of importing caviar with market value less than $100,000, but where
co-D convicted of six counts of importing $11million dollars worth, offense level ―has been
extraordinarily magnified by a circumstance that bears little relation to defendant‘s role in the
offense‖– here D‘s role in conspiracy ―bore little correlation to 11 million dollars because D ―was
not actively involved in co-D‘s business, was ―merely a low level employee – chauffeur and
interpreter – who ―took orders from co-D,‖ 4-level minimal role reduction simply not adequate;
furthermore, where ―relevant acquitted conduct produces the same sentencing result as if the
defendant had been convicted of that conduct or significantly increases the range, a downward
departure is ―invariably warranted.‖).

*8.    The Defendant's Criminal History Overrepresents seriousness of past criminal conduct
       or overstates his Propensity To Commit Crimes.




                                                - 15 -
Caveat For crimes committed on or after October 27, 2003, the Guidelines prohibit a downward
departure in criminal history category for armed career criminals and repeat dangerous sex offenders.
See new USSG 4A1.3(b) (2). But caveat highly questionable now in light of Booker. In addition,
for career offender the departure "may not exceed one criminal history category." 4A1.3(b)(3).
[note: no limitation is placed on the number of offense levels a district court may depart].

        U.S. v. Thomas, 361 F.3d 653 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (district court erred in considering the
defendant‘s lengthy arrest record in justifying court‘s failure to depart downward because of
overrepresentation of criminal history; arrests prove nothing); U.S. v. Cuevas-Gomez, 61 F.3d 749
(9th Cir. 1995) (district court may depart downward in illegal reentry case where D received 16-level
upward adjustment in offense level – if court believes criminal history overstated); U.S. v. Reyes, 8
F.3d 1379 (9th Cir. 1993) (court upholds downward departure – 210 months to 33 months – from
career offender guidelines – in both offense level and criminal category – where defendant a
comparatively minor offender – 6 minor drug and theft priors – but remands for court to state reason
for extent of departure); U.S. v. Brown, 985 F.2d 478, 482 (9th Cir. 1993) (age at time of prior
convictions and nature of those convictions – DUIs – are proper factors to consider in determining
whether career offender status significantly over-represents seriousness of defendant's criminal
history); U.S. v. Lawrence, 916 F.2d 553, 554 (9th Cir. 1990) (even though defendant is career
offender because of two drug convictions, low risk of recidivism justifies downward departure); U.S.
 v. Mishoe, 241 F.3d 214 (2d Cir. 2001) (although reversing district court‘s grant of downward
departure because they should not automatically be given to street level dealers; horizontal departure
in criminal category may be warranted where prior sentences were lenient); U.S. v. Gregor, 339 F.3d
666 (8th Cir. 2003)(in departing downward because career offender designation overrepresents
criminal history because burglary did not involve breaking and entering, district court may shift left
on the criminal history category and move downward on the offense level); U.S. v. Collins, 122
F.3d 1297 (10th Cir. 1997) (departure from career offender 151-188 to 42 months o.k. where D was
65 and ill (high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, etc) and 10 year old conviction overstated
criminal history because conduct committed beyond ten-year limit; and D not sentenced in that case
until 15 months after crime committed – so district court correctly reasoned that quick
prosecution would have precluded the career offender enhancement altogether – other
conviction was minor drug charge for which D received lenient sentence – so D ―not as likely to
recidivate as other career offenders‖ – and because Koon makes clear that Congress did not intend
―to vest in appellate courts wide-ranging authority over district court sentencing decisions‖); U.S. v.
Fletcher, 15 F.3d 553, 557 (6th Cir. 1994) (affirming departure downward from career offender to
level 29 and category V based on age of prior convictions, time intervening between priors and
current crime, and defendant's responsibilities; court of appeals affirmed noting district court can
consider age of priors in determining recidivism); U.S. v. Gayles, 1 F.3d 735, 739 (8th Cir. 1993)
(case remanded to permit judge to consider downward departure, noting that in making
determination, judge must "consider the historical facts of the defendant's criminal career"); U.S. v.
Shoupe, 988 F.2d 440, 447 (3d Cir. 1993) (court may consider defendant's age and immaturity when
priors committed in determining that criminal history (career offender) over represents history); U.S.
 v. Bowser, 941 F.2d 1019, 1024 (10th Cir. 1991) (age and close proximity in time between prior
criminal acts provided proper bases to depart downward from career offender category); U.S. v.


                                                - 16 -
Senior, 935 F.2d 149, 151 (8th Cir. 1991) (defendant only 20 years old when he committed his first
predicate offense, a series of robberies, and D received short sentence for second predicate offense
drug charges, obvious state did not consider D's crimes serious; so downward departure proper); U.S.
 v. Summers, 893 F.2d 63, 67 (4th Cir. 1990) (affirms downward departure because drunk driving
crimes exaggerated criminal history but remands because of the extent of the departure).

District Court

United States v. Huerta-Rodriguez, ___ F. Supp. 2d ____, 2005 WL 318640, 2005 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 1398 (D. Neb. Feb. 1, 2005) (Bataillon, J.) (post Booker, where guideline range was 70-
87 months court imposed 36 months in part because court would have granted downward
departure for over-representation of criminal history in that prior occurred nearly ten years ago);
U.S. v. Hammond, 240 F. Supp.2d 872 (E.D. Wisc. 2003) (in granting departure from category
III to II, because criminal history is overstated, court may consider (1) the age of the priors, (2)
the defendant‘s age at time of the priors, (3) whether drug and alcohol use were involved in the
priors, ((4) the circumstances of the prior offenses ; (5) the length of the prior sentences; (6) the
circumstances of the defendant‘s life at the time of the priors, and (7) the proximity of the priors.
 Here, the priors were relatively minor and remote in time from the instant offense (eighteen and
twenty years old) and unrelated to it, and D was young at the time of the priors and was
intoxicated at the time.); U.S. v. Moore, 209 F.Supp. 2d 180 (D.D.C. 2002) (departure from
range of 188 to 235 to range of 100-125 where career offender status over- represented
defendant's criminal history, priors were attempts and involved small quantity of drugs, four
years in between commission of previous offenses and instant offense, and relative length and
nature of his previous sentences in comparison with sentence prescribed by the guidelines); U.S.
 v. Wilkerson, 183 F.Supp.2d 373 (D. Mass. 2002) (where D convicted of distribution of crack,
his criminal history score of VI over-represented his criminal culpability for purposes of
sentencing, and thus defendant was entitled to a downward departure to IV and (170 to 120
months) where he had no convictions for crimes of violence, and he had received sentences for
prior convictions that just barely triggered scoring under the guidelines); U.S. v. Chambers, 2001
WL 96365, *3 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 2, 2001) (unpublished) (where defendant pled to conspiring to
deliver heroin, the four criminal history points calculated in the presentence report overstated the
seriousness of D‘s criminal record. The attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the
third degree was his first offense, and took place when D was only seventeen years old – so court
departs from category III to II); U.S. v. Lacy, 99 F.Supp.2d 108, 119 (D.Mass. 2000) (departing
where D‘s record ―largely non-violent, and relatively minor, the kind that characterizes and out-
of-control addict); U.S. v. DeJesus, 75 F.Supp. 2d 141, 144 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) (criminal category
V over represented D‘s criminal history where several priors were probation terms and, of three
jail sentences, only one longer that 60 days, and two of eight convictions were for loitering and
trespassing and did not count for guideline purposes, and remaining six convictions resulted in
no more than 2 years jail, and most conduct committed before D was 21 – and now that D
married and father more responsible – “a lengthy sentence required by higher criminal history
category will lessen not increase the likelihood of rehabilitation.‖); U.S v. Hammond, 37
F.Supp.2d 204 (EDNY 1999) (departing from category VI to III where D ―had no history violent

                                               - 17 -
behavior and his prior arrests resulted from minor drug crimes …and the kind of petty criminality
associated with a poor addict‘s attempt to acquire money for the purchase of drugs.‖); U.S. v.
Leviner, 31 F.Supp.2d 23 (D. Mass. 1998) (category V, based on traffic violations that accounted
for 7 criminal history points, over-represented relatively minor and non-violent nature of
defendants record and replicated disparities in state sentencing scheme, particularly racial
disparities); U.S. v. Miranda, 979 F.Supp. 1040, 1044 (D.N.J. 1997) (discounting traffic
convictions ―distinct in seriousness and kind from the instant offense‖); U.S. v. Taylor, 843 F.
Supp. 38 (W.D.Pa. 1993) (downward departure from career offender level 34 to level 20 justified
where prior state burglary convictions were more than ten years old and occurred when D a
teenager, the crimes did not involve any physical violence or use of a weapon, and burglary spree
occurred over a relatively short period); U.S. v. Hinds, 803 F. Supp. 675 (W.D. N.Y. 1992) (in
illegal reentry case departure from 51 months to 33 months proper where prior marijuana
convictions over represented criminal history and where Commission increased guideline for
reentry with aggravated felony), aff‘d, 992 F.2d 321 (2d Cir. 1993).
9.     Length Of Time Until First Crime.

       Departure warranted because guidelines fail to consider length of time defendant refrains
from commission of first crime, here until age 49. U.S. v. Ward, 814 F.Supp. 23 (E.D.Va. 1993).
[Renewed force in light of Booker]

*10.   Loss Table Overstates Amount Of Loss Or Seriousness Of Offense.

        See U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1, App. Note 16 (B) (eff. Jan. 25, 2003 and former App. Note 15(B), eff.
Nov. 1, 2001) (where ―the offense level determined under [2B1.1] substantially overstates the
seriousness of the offense...a downward departure may be warranted‖); U.S. v. McBride, 362 F.3d
360 (6th Cir. 2004) (in bad check and bankruptcy scam, remanded for district court to consider
whether to depart downward under 2B1.1 where intended loss of over $1 million ―substantially
overstated‖ actual loss of $800); U.S. v. Oligmueller, 198 F.3d 669 (8th Cir. 1999) (upheld
downward departure where actual loss amount of $829,000 stemming from false loan application
overstated risk to defrauded bank warranting use of loss figure of $58,000 and offense level 11 where
D had sufficient unpledged assets to support the loan amount and had paid the bank $836,000 of the
amount owed when fraud discovered); U.S. v. Brennick, 134 F.3d 10 (1st Cir. 1998) (downward
departure in atypical tax evasion case can be appropriate where D fully intended to pay but could not,
but extent of departure (30 months) was not justified); U.S. v. Walters, 87 F.3d 663 (5th Cir. 1996)
(in money laundering case, district court reasonably departed downward by six months where D did
not personally benefit from the fraud; lack of benefit was not considered by the guidelines; so
§5K2.0 authorizes departure); U.S. v. Broderson, 67 F.3d 452 (2d Cir. 1995) (in white collar
contracts fraud by president of Gruman Data, seven level departure o.k. in part because D did not
profit personally, contracts were favorable to the government, and "calculated loss significantly . . .
overstated the seriousness of the defendant's conduct‖ – see §2F1.1 comment. (n.7(b)); U.S. v.
Monaco, 23 F.3d 793, 799 (3d Cir. 1994) (D's intent not to steal money from U.S. but to expedite
payment that would have been due at some future time); U.S. v. Rostoff, 53 F.3d 398 (1st Cir. 1995)
(multiple causes of the losses including permissive attitude of bank's senior management, buyer's

                                                - 18 -
greed, and unexpected nosedive of condo market warranted downward departure); U.S. v. Gregorio,
956 F.2d 341 (1st Cir. 1992) (departure granted because losses resulting from fraudulently obtained
loan were not caused solely by the defendant‘s misrepresentation).

District Court
         United States v. Redemann, 295 F. Supp. 2d 887 (E.D. Wisc. 2003) (in bank fraud case
where guidelines were 18-24 months, for loss of 2.5 million, court departed downward two levels
in part because loss significantly overstated seriousness of offense. ―Under application notes
8(b) and 11, the court may depart when the amount of loss determined under § 2F1.1(b)(1)
significantly overstates the seriousness of the defendant's offense. U.S.S.G. § 2F1.1 cmt. n. 8(b)
& 11 (1998).‖ Here defendant submitted false invoices for work supposedly done on the bank,
but he did in fact do some valuable work for the bank which was not adequately recognized by
the loss figure); U.S. v. Roen, 279 F.Supp. 2d 986 (E.D. Wisc. 2003) (in mail fraud scheme
where D wrote checks on closed bank accounts in the amount of $1.2 million as payment for
various items he attempted to buy and where None of the checks were honored, and defendant
did not obtain any goods, departure of nine levels granted on the grounds that ―the amount of loss
bore little or no relation to economic reality.‖ ―the discrepancy between the actual loss - $19,000
- and the intended loss - over $1.2 million - was extreme.‖); U.S. v. Maccaul, 2002 WL
31426006 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 28, 2002)(unpublished) (in stock manipulation scheme by brokers,
defendant granted downward departure, because ―it is virtually impossible to justify imprisoning
the defendants before this Court for up to five times as long as the [codefendant] who hired,
inspired, and gravely misled them‖ and because ―the loss provision…does not make sense when
up to 250 people are participating [in the fraudulent scheme], and the loss is difficult if not
impossible to apportion fairly.‖); U.S. v. Corcoran, 2002 WL 31426019 (SDNY Oct. 28, 2002)
(unpublished) (four level departure for same reasons in Maccaul, supra); U.S. v. Distefano,
2002 WL 31426023 (SDNY Oct. 28, 2002) (unpub.) (three level departure for reasons set forth
in Corcoran and Maccaul, supra); U.S. v. Oakford Corp, 79 F.Supp. 2d 357 (S.D.N.Y. 2000)
(13 level departure granted where offense level overstates gravity offense–here each defendant
personally realized ―only small portion of the overall gain‖ of $15 million–and where agency
tacitly encouraged floor brokers to ―push the envelope‖ ).

*11. Amount of Loss Causes Multiple Overlapping Enhancements At High Offense Level.

         United States v. Lauersen, 348 F.3d 329 (2nd Cir. 2003) (where doctor convicted of
defrauding insurance companies and government of more than one million dollars for
unauthorized medical procedures, and where multiple enhancements for loss affecting financial
institution and abuse of trust were overlapping and caused offense level to go to 33, ―the
cumulation of such substantially overlapping enhancements, when imposed upon a defendant
whose adjusted offense level translates to a high sentencing range, presents a circumstance that is
present "to a degree" not adequately considered by the Commission...[and] permits a sentencing
judge to make a downward departure‖-remanded); U.S. v. Jackson, 346 F.3d 2 (2nd Cir. 2003)
(in credit card fraud, multiple overlapping enhancements can justify a downward departure—


                                              - 19 -
―although the enhancements imposed by the District Court are permissible, they are all little
more than different ways of characterizing closely related aspects of Jackson's fraudulent scheme.
Thus, his base level of 6 was increased 10 levels because his offense involved a large sum of
money, another 2 levels because he carefully planned the activity, another 2 levels because he
used sophisticated means, and another 4 levels because the scheme was extensive. Even though
these enhancements are sufficiently distinct to escape the vice of double counting, they
substantially overlap. Most fraud schemes that obtain more than one half million dollars involve
careful planning, some sophisticated techniques, and are extensive.‖ ― Moreover, a phenomenon
of the Guidelines, graphically illustrated by this case, is that any one enhancement increases the
sentencing range by a far greater amount when the enhancement is combined with other
enhancements than would occur if only [*12] one enhancement had been imposed.‖); U.S. v.
Gigante, 94 F.3d 53, 56 (2d Cir.1996) (downward departure authorized where substantially
enhanced sentence range results from series of enhancements proven only by preponderance of
the evidence).

 12.     Money Laundering Is Only Incidental To Underlying Crime Or Where Not Drug
                                          Related.

        U.S. v. Threadgill, 172 F.3d 357 (5th Cir. 1999) (downward departure proper in money
laundering case because crime was only incidental to defendants‘ two million dollar illegal gambling
operations, and defendants never used laundered money to further other illegal activity. Departure
also proper because statutes aimed not at white collar fraud offenders but at the drug trade,
racketeering, and more complex offenses); U.S. v. Woods, 159 F.3d 1132 (8th Cir. 1998) (where D
filed for bankruptcy but concealed ownership of $20,000 of stock and deposited proceeds of sale into
bank account – and where convicted of money laundering, downward departure proper because
underlying offense was not drug trafficking or some other offense typical of organized crime so
offense did not fall into ―heartland‖ of money laundering crimes); U.S. v. Buchanan, 987 F.Supp. 56
(D.Mass. 1997); U.S. v. Bart, 973 F. Supp. 691 (W.D.Tex. 1997).

*13.   The Defendant's Crime Constituted Aberrant Behavior.

      USSG § 5K2.20 (Caveat I: effective April 30, 2003 for sex and child porn crimes
committed on or after that date, this departure has been eliminated by the Feeney
Amendment); but see U.S. v. Detwiler, supra at introduction (holding Feeney amendment
rendered mandatory guidelines unconstitutional); Also highly questionable in light of Booker

        Caveat II For crimes committed after October 27, 2003 departure prohibited by USSG
5K2.20(c)(4) if defendant subject to a mandatory minimum term of 5 years or more for drug offense,
regardless of whether the defendant meets the safety valve criteria under USSG 5C1.2. Departure
also prohibited, under USSG 5K2.20 (c)(4)(B) if defendant has ―any other significant prior criminal
behavior,‖ even if not otherwise counted under Chapter 4. Finally, fraud schemes generally will not
qualify for the departure. USSG 5K2.20, Application Note 2. All Caveats highly questionable in
light of Booker.

                                              - 20 -
           Otherwise, effective Nov. 1, 2000, a departure for aberrant conduct is authorized but only
for ―a single criminal occurrence or single criminal transaction that was committed without
significant planning, was of limited duration, and represented a marked deviation from an otherwise
law abiding life.‖ 5K2.20 App. Note 1. Further, this departure is unavailable if (1) offense involved
serious bodily injury or death, (2) use or discharge of a firearm, (3) a serious drug trafficking crime,
or (4) the defendant has more than one criminal history point. Under this standard, ―The Sentencing
Commission specifically rejected a rule that would have allowed a departure for aberrant behavior
only in a case involving a single act that was spontaneous and seemingly thoughtless...The
Commission saw the need to define aberrant behavior more flexibly and to slightly relax the single
act" rule.‖ U.S. v. Gonzalez, 281 F.3d 38 (2nd Cir. 2002).

         That said, see United States v. Smith, 387 F.3d 826 (9th Cir. 2004) (where D convicted of
retaliating against a witness (18 U.S.C. 1513(b)(2)), case remanded to district court to reconsider its
refusal to grant aberrant behavior departure, nothing that fact that defendant may have had time to
plan the offense does not mean it was the result of ―significant planning,‖ and that crime lasted for
ten minutes does not mean it lasted a long time; and that the conduct was indeed extraordinary); U.S.
v. Vieke, 348 F.3d 811 (9th Cir. 2003) (because government made only pro forma objection, court
of appeals refuses to review district court‘s four level downward departure to probation in credit card
fraud case where district court said crime committed because of ―pathological nature of the
[gambling] addiction‖ and was ―totally out of suit with the rest of her life and the behaviors‖ even
though fraud went on for years).

         For any crime that occurred before Nov. 1, 2000, law is much more favorable (at least in the
Ninth Circuit). See U.S. v. Working, 224 F.3d 1093 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (where woman
convicted of attempted murder of husband and use of firearm, when he threatened divorce and taking
children, district court may properly depart 21 levels (on att. murder guideline) for aberrant conduct
even though crime well-planned and relentlessly executed, but remanded for court to give reasons for
extent (from range of 87 to 108 months to one day), but on appeal after remand, departure vacated
because unreasonably great and based on impermissible factors. 287 F.3d 801 (2002); U.S. v.
Lam, 20 F.3d 999, 1003-05 (9th Cir. 1994)(where law-abiding immigrant obtained sawed-of
shotgun to protect his family against predators after he and pregnant sister were robbed by three
gunman, and where D not aware that he possessed illegal weapon, and where only prior driving
without a license, court had discretion to downward depart from 18 month sentence because of
aberrant conduct-note court rejects view that aberrant conduct must be single incident; and rejects
view that must be first offense); U.S. v. Fairless, 975 F.2d 664 (9th Cir. 1992) (bank robbery, down
on the floor, with unloaded gun, in light of depression, loss of job, first offense, "shocked" response
of family, constitutes aberrant behavior justify downward departure from 60 to 30 months); U.S. v.
Morales, 972 F.2d 1007, 1011 (9th Cir. 1993) (court may downward depart for "aberrant conduct"
where no criminal history); U.S. v. Takai, 941 F.2d 738, 744 (9th Cir. 1991)(multiple incidents over
six-week period in effort to obtain green cards by bribing INS official still constituted a single act of
aberrant behavior where D's crime did not lead to pecuniary gain, government agent influenced D to
commit crime, and one D committed charitable acts-outstanding good deeds); U.S. v. Dickey, 924


                                                 - 21 -
F.2d 836 (9th Cir. 1991) (crime may be aberrant where D stole $80,000 which he received by bank
error); U.S. v. Garcia, 182 F.3d 1165, 1176 (10th Cir. 1999) (that defendant‘s crime was ―carefully
planned‖ did not preclude finding of aberrant behavior because the correct focus is not on the
number of discrete acts undertaken by the defendant but rather on the aberrational character of the
conduct); U.S. v. Jones, 158 F.3d 492 (10th Cir. 1998) (where defendant pled guilty to possession of
a firearm by a prohibited person, the district court did not abuse its discretion in departing downward
by three levels to probation when, as one of eleven factors, it considered that crime was aberrant
conduct where the defendant had been law abiding until age 35 when his marriage disintegrated).

District Court

         U.S. v Myers, 2004 WL 165314 (S.D. Iowa Jan. 26, 2005) (where D 40 years of age
with no record and lead blameless life convicted of unlawful possession of short-barrelled
shotgun he sold to his cousin four years earlier, and where advisory guideline 20-30 months,
departure to time served and three month term of supervised release because of aberrant conduct
and because other purposes of sentencing satisfied); U.S. v. Hued, 338 F.Supp.2d 453
(S.D.N.Y. 2004) (where defendant pled guilty to making maintaining a place to store heroin with
range of 41 to 51 months, downward departure of 11 levels granted under 5K2.20(c) for
aberrant conduct because she ―was never actively involved in the planning of the criminal
conduct‖ and her conduct was of ―limited duration‖ and ―a marked deviation from an otherwise
law-abiding life.‖); U.S. v. Booe, 252 F.Supp. 2d 584 (E.D. Tenn. 2003) (defendant who robbed
bank with note granted 9 level downward departure for aberrant conduct because she was a 22
year old black single mother of a one year old son, had severe depression, no criminal record and
felt guilt over child's well being--little planning and no violence); U.S. v. Hancock, 95 F.Supp.2d
280 (E.D.Pa. 2000)(downward departure warranted in felon in possession case where D
happened upon weapon and possessed it for very short time to dispose of it, because conduct was
aberrant); U.S. v. Iaconetti, 59 F.Supp.2d 139 (D. Mass. 1999) (Defendant, who had no prior
criminal record and who pled guilty to the charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to
distribute cocaine, was entitled to eleven-level departure from Sentencing Guidelines (from level
25 to level 14) based on "single acts of aberrant behavior"--gambling debts to a loan shark caused
by defendant's gambling compulsion resulted in defendant agreeing with loan shark's idea as to
how to extinguish the debts after defendant had tried to pay the debts from his personal
resources, his business, and his family); U.S. v. Martinez-Villegas, 993 F.Supp. 766 (C.D. Cal.
1998)(in drug case downward departure of one level granted because of aberrant conduct where
government offered much money to defendant with no criminal record to perform single act of
transporting drugs); U.S. v. Delvalle, 967 F.Supp. 781 (E.D. N.Y. 1997) (defendant‘s
involvement in drug conspiracy on two different days, separated by a week, were so loosely
related they could be seen as single act of aberrant conduct warranting twelve-level departure);
U.S. v. Patillo, 817 F. Supp. 839 (C.D. Cal. 1993) (first time offense, possession of 681 grams of
crack, "out of character" for defendant who had stable employment history and in a moment of
"financial weakness" and "unusual temptation" and demonstration of "tremendous remorse");
U.S. v. Baker, 804 F. Supp. 19, 21 (N.D.Cal. 1992) (where D pled guilty to possession of one
kilogram of crack downward departure to minimum mandatory sentence proper where act was


                                                - 22 -
"single act of aberrant behavior"); U.S. v. McCarthy, 840 F. Supp. 1404 (D. Colo. 1993)
(aberrant behavior departure to probation proper for armed bank robber who was disorganized
and unsophisticated where he was also facing 5 year mandatory minimum for possession of gun).

14.    Rendering Aid To Victim.

        "Rendering aid to a victim is a factor that is not considered by the guidelines." U.S. v.
Tsosie, 14 F.3d 1438, 1443 (10th Cir. 1994).

*15.   Defendant's Conduct Did Not Threaten The Harm Sought To Be Prevented By The
       Law Proscribing The Offense – Perceived Lesser Harm.

        See U.S.S.G. § 5K2.11 (departure permissible where d commits a crime ―to avoid a perceived
greater harm...[where] circumstances significantly diminish society‘s interest in punishing the
conduct‖ or where ―conduct may not cause or threaten the harm or evil sought to be prevented by the
law‖); U.S. v. Bayne 2004 WL 1488548, 103 Fed. Appx. 710 (4th Cir. 2004) (unpublished) (where
D charged with possession of sawed off shotgun, four level departure by district court not improper
where D lent gun to a friend who returned it sawed off and where no evidence D possessed shotgun
for any unlawful purpose and where possession would not "cause or threaten the harm or evil sought
to be prevented by the law proscribing the offense‖); U.S. v. Hemmingson, 157 F.3d 347 (5th Cir.
1998) (one illegal $20,000 campaign contribution was not within the heartland of money laundering
cases involving long-running, elaborate schemes, so downward departure proper); U.S. v. Clark, 128
F.3d 122 (2d Cir. 1997) (remanding-district court has discretion to depart downward on lesser harms
theory in felon in possession case where defendant had purchased gun as a gift for his brother and
thus not engaged in activity Congress meant to proscribe); U.S. v. Barajas-Nunez, 91 F.3d 826 (6th
Cir. 1996) (not plain error to depart under lesser harms provisions of §5K2.11 where defendant had
illegally reentered country after having been deported when he believed his girlfriend was in grave
danger of physical harm and wanted to obtain surgery for her, but remanded to explain extent of
departure); U.S. v. Bernal, 90 F.3d 465 (11th Cir.1996)(D convicted of violation of Lacey Act by
exporting primates to Mexico properly given downward departure from 24 months to 70 days
because D did not threaten animals-the harm sought to be prevented by the statute-but rather loved
animals and wanted them to propagate in Mexico); U.S. v. Carvell, 74 F.3d 8 (1st Cir. 1996)(where
D claims he grew marijuana to combat depression and suicidal tendencies, district court may
consider downward departure from 70-month sentence under § 5K2.11, the "lesser harms" provision,
because sole question is whether the D committed the offense in order to avoid a perceived greater
offense); U.S. v. White Buffalo, 10 F.3d 575 (8th Cir. 1993) (downward departure proper for
defendant who possessed sawed-off shotgun to shoot animals that killed his chickens); U.S. v.
Hadaway, 998 F.2d 917, 919-20 (11th Cir. 1993) (remanded--where D possessed sawed-off shotgun,
court has power to depart downward if possession threatened lesser harm than statute intended to
prevent–defendant claimed that, on a whim, he exchanged a bucket of sheetrock for the shotgun,
intending to keep it as a curiosity or to use it for parts-defendant also said he did not keep the
sawed-off shotgun among his admittedly large collection of firearms because he wasn't sure it
worked).


                                              - 23 -
District Court

U.S. v. VanLeer, 270 F.Supp.2d 1318 (D. Utah 2003) (Judge Cassell) (in felon in possession
case four level departure (from 36 to 18 months) granted because defendant brought shotgun to
pawnshop and sold it; so by disposing of gun outside the heartland of cases--also asserts Feeney
amendment changes little); U.S. v. Nava-Sotelo, 232 F.Supp. 2d 1269, 1283 (D.N.M. 2000) (D
convicted of kidnapping and assault in attempt to help brother escape from lengthy sentence
granted downward departure under 5K2.11 in part because D ―believed that his choice to assist
his brother in the escape attempt was a lesser harm than the devastating consequences to his
parents' mental and physical well-being should they have discovered his brother's true
sentence."); U.S. v. Hancock, 95 F.Supp.2d 280 (E.D.Pa. 2000) (downward departure warranted
in atypical felon in possession case where D happened upon weapon and possessed it for very
short time to dispose of it).

*16.   To Enable Defendant To Be Eligible For Boot Camp, Counseling, Or Other
       Rehabilitative Program.

        [Argument much strengthened in light of Booker] U.S. v. Thompson, 315 F.3d 1071
(9th Cir. 2002) (Berzon, J. concurring) (although district court erred in departing downward on
ground that D's conduct outside heartland of possession of child porn guideline, district court should
consider departure to allow D to enter sex treatment in prison immediately, instead of waiting years
in prison); U.S. v. Jones, 158 F.3d 492 (10th Cir. 1998) (where defendant pled guilty to possession
of a firearm by a prohibited person, the district court did not abuse its discretion in departing
downward by three levels when, as one of eleven factors, it considered that imprisonment would
sever the defendant‘s access to rehabilitative counseling – one of the purposes of sentencing is ―to
provide the defendant with needed education or vocational training, medical care, or other
correctional treatment in the most effective manner.‖ 18 U.S.C. §3553(a)(2)(D)); U.S. v. Martin,
827 F.Supp. 232 (S.D.N.Y. 1993) (district court departed downward from 48 to 30 months to enable
D to be eligible for boot camp. Court found that boot camp might help the defendant make a clean
break with former lifestyle and departure proper if boot camp provided the best hope of protecting
the public, deterring misconduct and providing rehabilitation); cf. U.S. v. Duran, 37 F.3d 557, 560-
61 & n. 3 (9th Cir. 1994) (―once imprisonment is selected as the means of punishment,‖ the court
may consider "correctional treatment" and "rehabilitation" to determine the length of sentence. In
this case, these considerations justified a longer sentence. Court notes that "a sentence of not less
than 12 nor more than 30 months permits the court to commit a defendant to an Intensive
Confinement Center." In addition, a sentence of 18 to 24 months allowed inmate to enter, complete,
and receive "fullest possible benefit under prison drug abuse program.").

17 Departure To Substitute Community Confinement For Prison

       Note that Application Note 6 to USSG 5C1.1 authorizes a departure that permits substitution
of more community confinement than otherwise authorized for an equivalent number of months of

                                               - 24 -
imprisonment for treatment (―e.g. substitution of twelve months in residential drug treatment for
twelve months of imprisonment‖ ). But see U.S v. Malley , 307 F.3d 1032 (9th Cir. 2002) (this
provision does not authorize reduction in the offense level).

18.    To Enable Defendant To Make Restitution.

       U.S. v. Blackburn, 105 F.Supp.2d 1067 (D.S.D. 2000) (where D pled guilty to failure to pay
child support and was $15,000 in arrears, and where guideline called for 12-18 months of
imprisonment with one year of supervised release, imprisonment counter-productive towards
payment of child support, and court grants downward departure on its own motion to probation to
make sure that defendant would be subjected to a longer term of supervision, which would have been
possible if imprisonment imposed); caveat For crimes committed after October 27, 2003, the
guidelines prohibit departures for restitution if required by law or the guidelines. USSG 5K.0(d)(4).
[argument that restitution is mitigating factor much strengthened after Booker]

*19.   The Defendant Suffered Extraordinary Physical Or Sexual Abuse As Child.

         U.S. v. Walter, 256 F.3d 891 (9th Cir. 2001)(where D sent threat to the president, district
court could downward depart from 41 months sentence because combination of brutal beatings by
defendant's father, the introduction to drugs and alcohol by his mother, and, most seriously, the
sexual abuse defendant faced at the hands of his cousin, constituted the type of extraordinary
circumstances justifying consideration of the psychological effects of childhood abuse and establish
diminished capacity); U.S. v. Brown, 985 F.2d 478 (9th Cir. 1993) (where D offered a letter
recounting his childhood of severe abuse and neglect and produced psychologist's report concluding
that childhood trauma was the primary cause of D's criminal behavior, court could grant downward
departure); U.S. v. Roe, 976 F.2d 1216 (9th Cir. 1992) (court clearly erred in holding it did not have
discretion to depart downward where defendant's suffered extraordinary sexual abuse as a child);
U.S. v. Rivera, 192 F.3d 81, 84 (2d Cir. 1999) (“It seems beyond question that abuse suffered
during childhood – at some level of severity – can impair a person's mental and emotional
conditions...in extraordinary circumstances…district courts may properly grant a downward
departure on the ground that extreme childhood abuse caused mental and emotional conditions that
contributed to the defendant's commission of the offense‖ but D not entitled to one here because he
―failed to allege and show, as required for a §5H1.3 departure, that any abuse he may have suffered
rose to the extraordinary level that can be assumed to cause mental or emotional pathology‖); U.S.
v. Pullen, 89 F.3d 368 (7th Cir. 1996) (in light of Koon v. U.S., 518 U.S. 81 (1996), sentence
remanded to see if D can establish that childhood abuse was extraordinary to enable judge to exercise
discretion to depart downward); see Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 789 (1982) (Rehnquist, J.,
joined by Burger, C.J., White, and O'Connor, J., dissenting) ("It requires no citation of authority to
assert that children who are abused in their youth generally face extraordinary problems developing
into responsible, productive citizens"); Motley v. Collins, 3 F.3d 781, 792 (5th Cir. 1993) (death
penalty) (fact that a doctor did not opine that he murder was likely the result of child abuse did not
preclude jurors from making the required inference "after all, the effects of child abuse are not
peculiarly within the province of an expert . . . it requires no citation of authority to assert that


                                               - 25 -
children who are abused in their youth generally face extraordinary problems developing into
responsible, productive, citizens").

District Court

       U.S. v. Ayers, 971 F.Supp. 1197 (N.D. Ill. 1997) (departure granted based upon cruel
childhood with relentless physical, sexual and psychological abuse over course of years).

20.    The Defendant Was Exposed To Domestic Violence.

       The court can consider the defendant's troubled upbringing and his exposure to domestic
violence as a child. U.S. v. Lopez, 938 F.2d 1293, 1298 (D.C.Cir. 1991); see U.S. v. Deigert, 916
F.2d 916, 918-19 (4th Cir. 1990); see Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302, 319 (1989) (evidence about
the defendant's background is relevant because of the belief "long held by this society, that the
defendants who commit criminal acts that are attributable to a disadvantaged background or to
emotional or mental problems may be less culpable than defendants who have no such excuse.")

21.    Holocaust Survivor.

        U.S. v. Somerstein, 20 F.Supp.2d 454 (E.D.N.Y. 1998) (defendant's history of charitable
efforts, exceptional work history, and experiences as a child victim of the Holocaust, when
considered together, took case out of "heartland" of cases, and warranted a downward departure
where defendant was convicted of mail fraud, making false statements, and conspiracy in connection
with actions taken as principal of a catering firm. The court stated that it "[S]imply . . . cannot see
incarcerating" defendant for her offenses after what she had experienced during the Holocaust, in
which she lost half of her family).

22.    The Defendant Is Elderly

        U.S. v. Nellum , 2005 WL 300073 (N.D. Ind. Feb. 3, 20005) (where 57-year old
defendant convicted of distributing crack-cocaine; and his guideline sentencing range was 168-
210 months, sentence of 108 months because court had also to consider the need to deter Nellum
and others from committing further crime under § 3553(a)(2). A guideline sentence would mean
the defendant would be over the age of seventy at his release. The court‘s sentence will cause his
release at 65 and ―The likelihood of recidivism by a 65 year old is very low.‖ See United States
Sentencing Commission Report released in May, 2004) (located at http://ww
w.ussc.gov/publicat/Recidivism-General.pdf.); Under the advisory guidelines, age is not
―ordinarily‖ not relevant pursuant to U.S.S.G. §5H1.1, maybe so in unusual cases or in
combination with other factors. However, that ―age may be a reason to impose a sentence below
the applicable guideline range when the defendant is elderly and infirm and where a form of
punishment such as home confinement might be equally efficient as and less costly than
incarceration); U.S. v. Hildebrand, 152 F.3d 756 (8th Cir. 1998) (affirmed downward departure
for 70-year old from range of 51-63 months to probation with 6 months in home confinement


                                                - 26 -
where D bookkeeper for a group convicted of mail fraud and had life-threatening health
conditions – even though court of appeals said it would not have granted a departure); U.S. v.
Higgins, 967 F.2d 841 (3d Cir. 1992) (young age and stable employment will justify a downward
departure if "extraordinary"; remanded to see if judge realized he had power); U.S. v.
Dusenberry, 9 F.3d 110 (6th Cir. 1993) (downward departure granted due to defendant‘s age and
medical condition – removal of both kidneys requiring dialysis three times a week); U.S. v.
Baron, 914 F. Supp. 660, 662-665 (D. Mass. 1995) (in bankruptcy fraud, downward departure
from range of 27-33 months to probation and home detention to a 76-year old defendant with
medical problems which could be made worse by incarceration); see U.S. v. Moy, 1995 WL
311441, at *25-29, *34 (N.D.Ill. May 18, 1995) (downward departure based upon defendant's
advanced age, aggravated health condition, and emotionally depressed state); U.S. v. Roth, 1995
WL 35676, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Jan.30, 1995)(sixty-three year old defendant with neuromuscular
disease had "profound physical impairment" warranting downward departure). This departure
is available even in sex with minor cases and child porn cases. USSG 5K2.22 (effective
April 30, 2003).

        Practice tip: Argue as mitigating factor: "management problems with elderly inmates, ... are
intensified in the prison setting and include: vulnerability to abuse and predation, difficulty in
establishing social relationships with younger inmates, need for special physical accommodations in
a relatively inflexible physical environment. Correctional Health Care, Addressing the Needs of
Elderly, Chronically Ill, and Terminally Ill Inmates, U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of
Corrections, 2004 edition, pp 9 and 10. The report notes on page 10 that first time offenders are
"easy prey for more experienced predatory inmates." It should be noted that throughout the report,
the elderly are defined by the various institutions as 50 or older.

22A. Unlikely to Be A Recidivist

 United States v. Nellum, 2005 WL 300073, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1568 (N.D. Ind. Feb. 3,
2005) (Simon, J.) (post Booker, in crack case where Guideline range was 168-210 months,
imposing sentence of 108 months where, among other things unlikely to recidivate because of his
age of 57, relying on government statistics)


23. The defendant is youthful and immature mental age

        U.S. v. Allen, 250 F.Supp.2d 317 (SDNY 2003)(Where D convicted of drugs and guns, D
entitled to 8 level departure from 80 months to 30 months because his mental immaturity-even
though 21 behaves like 14 year old and psychological problems and mild retardation take case out of
heartland of drug and gun cases)


24.    Excellent Employment History.



                                                - 27 -
        U.S. v. Thompson, 74 F.Supp.2d 69 (D.Mass. 1999) (departure from 87 to 60 months in drug
case-setting out framework for determining when employment history and family ties warrant
downward departure as extraordinary – here ―not only did defendant exhibit a sustained commitment
to his family dating back to the instant he became a father, he consistently worked to provide for
them‖), reversed 234 F.3d 74 (1st Cir. 2000) (district court erred in limiting its inquiry to cases
involving crack cocaine dealers and then asking whether defendant‘s record stood apart from the
rest); U.S. v. Jones, 158 F.3d 492 (10th Cir. 1998) (where defendant pled guilty to possession of a
firearm by a prohibited person, the district court did not abuse its discretion in departing downward
by three levels when, as one of eleven factors, it considered the defendant‘s ―long impressive work
history ...where good jobs are scarce.‖ Even though under §5H1.5 ordinarily a discouraged basis,
here unusual); U.S. v. Higgins, 967 F.2d 841 (3d Cir. 1992) (young age and stable employment will
justify a downward departure if "extraordinary"; remanded to see if judge realized he had power);
U.S. v. Alba, 933 F.2d 1117 (2d Cir. 1991) (long-standing employment at two jobs); U.S. v.
Jagmohan, 909 F.2d 61 (2d Cir. 1990) (exceptional employment history and nature of the crime);
U.S. v. Big Crow, 898 F.2d 1326, 1331-32 (8th Cir. 1990) (excellent employment record); U.S. v.
Shoupe, 988 F.2d 440 (3d Cir. 1993) (age and immaturity considered in whether criminal history
overstates propensity); U.S. v. Ragan, 952 F.2d 1049 (8th Cir. 1992) (defendant stopped using drugs
a year before his indictment, maintained steady employment, and offered to cooperate-departure
affirmed where government did not object at sentencing).

*25.   The Defendant Manifested "Super" Acceptance Of Responsibility.

        Caveat: For crimes committed on or after October 27, 2003, the guidelines eliminate this
ground for departure. See New USSG 5K2.0(d)(2). Booker reverses the caveat. Moreover, frame
issue in terms of post offense rehabilitation. See U.S. v. Smith, 311 F.Supp.2d 801 (E.D. Wis. 2004)
 (in sale of crack case, two level downward departure from heartland of sentencing guidelines
granted, even though defendant also received offense level reduction for acceptance of responsibility,
where defendant demonstrated self- improvement, fundamental change in attitude, and complete
withdrawal from criminal drug distribution lifestyle in three years before he was arrested and before
he knew he was under investigation, and those post-offense, pre-arrest rehabilitative efforts had not
been taken into account in formulating guideline range.

         For crimes committed before October 27, 2003, see U.S. v. Kim, 364 F.3d 1235 (11th Cir.
2004) ($280,000 restitution by defendants, a husband and wife, after they pled guilty to conspiracy to
defraud the United States and fraudulently obtaining government assistance, respectively, was
extraordinary enough to remove case from heartland and justify downward departure from 24 months
to probation and home detention where defendants dipped significantly into their life savings and
voluntarily undertook enormous amount of debt to pay restitution; defendants' conduct demonstrated
their sincere remorse and acceptance of responsibility); U.S. v. Brown, 985 F.2d 478, 482-83 (9th
Cir. 1993) (under § 5K2.0, in light of defendant's confession, court can depart downward from the
range if it determines that the two point reduction did not adequately reflect acceptance); U.S. v.
Miller, 991 F.2d 552 (9th Cir. 1993) (voluntary restitution exhibiting extraordinary acceptance of
responsibility can justify downward departure); U.S. v. Farrier, 948 F.2d 1125, 1127 (9th Cir. 1991)


                                               - 28 -
(admission of guilt to other crimes can justify departure under §5K2.0, but not further adjustment for
acceptance); U.S. v. Gee, 226 F.3d 885 (7th Cir. 2000)(affirms 2-level downward departure for
acceptance of responsibility under §5K2.0, where D was not eligible for adjustment for acceptance
under §3E1.1 because went to trial. Defendant demonstrated a non-heartland acceptance in that he
made early and consistent offers to government to determine legality of his business); U.S. v.
Faulks, 143 F.3d 133 (3d Cir. 1998); U.S. v. DeMonte, 25 F.3d 343, 349 (6th Cir. 1994) (in
computer fraud case, departure proper on ground that defendant admitted to crimes about which
government had no knowledge, even though part of plea bargain to cooperate-remanded); U.S. v.
Evans, 49 F.3d 109 (3d Cir. 1995) (voluntary disclosure of true identity resulting in increased
criminal history score may warrant downward departure); U.S. v. Rogers, 972 F.2d 489, 494 (2d Cir.
1992) (district court empowered to depart downward where defendant emerged from a drug-induced
state, realized his wrongdoing and turned himself in and confessed); U.S. v. Lieberman, 971 F.2d
989, 995-96 (3d Cir. 1992) (one level downward departure o.k. where D offered to make restitution
greater that amount taken, met with bankers and offered to explain how avoided detection, resigned
his position and went to FBI to admit his embezzlement, pled guilty); U.S. v Crumb, 902 F.2d
1337, 1339-40 (8th Cir. 1990) (voluntary surrender nine days after issuance of warrant 9 month
downward departure).

District Court

        U.S. v. Rothberg, 222 F. Supp. 2d 1009 (N.D. Ill. 2002) (where defendant pled to copy right
infringement without plea bargain, and where, despite the government's refusal to file motion for
downward departure under U.S.S.G. § 5K1.1, defendant continued to cooperate with the
government, and where, in doing so, he put himself at risk of a significant detriment: without a plea
agreement, there was nothing to prevent the government from using the information he provided
against him at sentencing, defendant‘s efforts show acceptance of responsibility that is outside the
heartland of § 3E1.1, with other factors, warranted two level additional departure); U.S. v. Nguyen,
212 F.Supp.2d 1008 (N.D. Iowa 2002) (where D entered Alford plea to possessing 45 grams of crack
 and then testified in his sister‘s trial that he put them in her handbag, and she was acquitted, district
court grant an extra three level departure to defendant for ―extraordinary acceptance of
responsibility,‖under U.S.S.G. § 5K2.0); U.S. v. Stewart, 154 F.Supp.2d 1336 (E.D. Tenn. 2001)
(where defendant pled guilty to possession of 8 ounces of cocaine, eight-level downward departure,
in addition to 3 normal levels, granted for ―extraordinary acceptance‖ where defendant continued to
plead guilty even though judge had granted codefendant‘s suppression motion which could have
resulted in dismissal of defendant‘s case); U.S. v. Davis 797 F. Supp. 672 (D.C.N.Ind. 1992) (8-
level downward departure proper where defendant make $775,000 restitution voluntarily); U.S. v.
Ziegler, 835 F. Supp. 1335 (D. Kan. 1993) (downward departure justified for complete acceptance of
responsibility exhibited by extraordinary drug rehabilitation in that defendant had smoked 20
marijuana cigarettes a day for 20 years and stopped).

26.     Defendant Showed Extreme Remorse.

       U.S. v. Fagan, 162 F.3d 1280, 1284-85 (10th Cir. 1998)(because guidelines do not
expressly forbid the departure, under rationale of Koon, court may downward depart where

                                                 - 29 -
defendant showed great remorse ―to an exceptional degree‖ even though D already received
adjustment for acceptance of responsibility); U.S. v. Jaroszenko, 92 F.3d 486 (7th Cir. 1996).


*27.   Post-Offense, Post-Conviction, And Post-Sentencing Rehabilitation.

      Caveat: Effective Nov. 1, 2000 (i.e. for crimes committed on or after that date) §5K2.19
prohibits downward departure for ―post sentencing rehabilitative efforts, even if exceptional.‖
(The amendment ―does not restrict departures based on extraordinary rehabilitative efforts prior
to sentencing.‖ U.S.S.G., Appendix C, No. 602); Caveat questionable now in light of Booker.

 U.S. v. Green, 152 F.3d 1202 (9th Cir. 1998) (post-sentencing rehabilitative efforts – here,
exemplary conduct in prison – may be basis for downward departure in manufacturing 4,000
marijuana plant case, and no abuse to depart downward 11 levels and re-sentence defendant to 30
days – no difference between post-offense and post-sentencing rehabilitation – court need not
analogize to comparable guideline provisions to explain extent of departure so long as
reasonable); U.S. v. Newlon, 212 F.3d 423 (8th Cir. 2000) (departure from 110 to 90 months not
abuse of discretion where prior to his arrest on charge of felon in possession D had, at his own
request, spent 85 hours in drug and alcohol program; his counselor reported that he had a sincere
desire for treatment, and his family noted a marked improvement in his behavior and attitude);
U.S. v. Bradstreet, 207 F.3d 76 (1st Cr. 2000) (departure from 51 to 31 months at re-sentencing
in securities fraud case not abuse of discretion for post-offense rehabilitation while in prison D
tutored inmates, taught adult that he developed, volunteered and succeeded in the prison's Boot
Camp Program, began serving as the prison chaplain's assistant, became a program assistant and
clerk of the prison parenting program, and lectured at local colleges to business students on
ethical perils in the business world and where appended to the motion were letters of
commendation from people with whom he had worked in prison as well as from several of the
inmates whom he had assisted.); U.S. v. Rudolph, 190 F.3d 720 (6th Cir. 1999) (at re-sentencing
court may depart down for extraordinary rehabilitation occurring after original sentencing); U.S.
v. DeShon, 183 F.3d 888 (8th Cir. 1999) (where D pled to tax evasion etc., district court did not
abuse its discretion in departing downward from 30-37 months to 5 months community
confinement without work release based on defendant's post-offense rehabilitation, after
witnesses testified that he had "renewed his life in the church" and was making extraordinary
efforts to turn his life around); U.S. v. Jones, 158 F.3d 492 (10th Cir. 1998) (where defendant
pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, the district court did not abuse its
discretion in departing downward by three levels to probation when, as one of eleven factors, it
considered that the defendant had adhered to the conditions of his release and changed both his
attitude and conduct during his release constituting exceptional post-offense rehabilitation.
Cases forbidding a departure on this ground have been overruled by Koon); U.S. v. Rhodes, 145
F.3d 1375 (D.C.Cir. 1998) (post-conviction rehabilitation grounds for departure if ―exceptional
degree‖ of rehabilitation shown – in light of Koon); U.S. v. Whitaker, 152 F.3d 1238, 1241
(10th Cir. 1998) (defendant's "drug rehabilitation efforts" could possibly provide a basis for
departure and case remanded for the district court to decide); U.S. v. Kapitzke, 130 F.3d 820


                                              - 30 -
(8th Cir. 1997) (post-offense rehabilitation effort in child porn case may justify downward
departure where defendant has undergone eight months of sex offender and chemical dependency
treatment with a high probability of success); U.S. v. Core, 125 F.3d 74 (2d Cir. 1997) (good
conduct in prison after initial sentencing may justify downward departure on re-sentencing. On
remand, court should determine if D‘s rehabilitative efforts justify departure); U.S. v. Sally, 116
F.3d 76 (3d Cir. 1977) (In light of Koon, a defendant‘s post-conviction rehabilitation efforts may
be sufficient to warrant a downward departure where D is resentenced several years later if there
is at least ―concrete gains toward turning ones‘ life around.‖ Here, D was 17 when convicted of
crack and gun charges and has since earned his GED and nine college credits); U.S. v. Brock,
108 F.3d 31 (4th Cir. 1997) (D convicted of credit card fraud with 12-18 months guidelines
sought downward departure because of post-arrest rehabilitation; district denied saying no
authority. Remanded because previous decision ruling out such departures no longer good law in
light of Koon); U.S. v. Workman, 80 F.3d 688 (2d Cir. 1996) (between defendant‘ criminal
conduct and arrest he left a gang joined the army and was honorably discharged – a modest
downward departure proper because defendant abandoned his criminal lifestyle-"[R]ehabilitation
efforts by drug-addicted defendants may justify downward departures under appropriate
circumstances."); U.S. v. Williams, 65 F.3d 301, 306 (2d Cir. 1995) (when a defendant who has
been in federal custody since his arrest has had no opportunity to pursue any rehabilitation, when
he had been admitted to a selective and intensive inmate drug treatment program and a guideline
sentence would deprive him of his only opportunity rehabilitate himself, departure from 130
months to 60 months is reasonable if additional conditions attached to supervised release term);
U.S. v. Maier, 975 F.2d 944, 945 (2d Cir.1992) (affirming departure where defendant's "efforts
toward rehabilitation followed an uneven course, not a surprising result for someone with a
fourteen- year history of addiction");.

District Court

        U.S. v. Smith, 311 F.Supp.2d 801 (E.D. Wis. 2004) (in sale of crack case, two level
downward departure from heartland of sentencing guidelines granted , even though defendant
also received offense level reduction for acceptance of responsibility, where defendant
demonstrated self- improvement, fundamental change in attitude, and complete withdrawal from
criminal drug distribution lifestyle in three years before he was arrested and before he knew he
was under investigation, and those post-offense, pre-arrest rehabilitative efforts had not been
taken into account in formulating guideline range); U.S. v. Parella, 273 F.Supp. 2d 161 (D. Mass.
2003) (where D convicted of being getaway driver in three bank robberies, court departs from
30-37 months to probation because defendant ―totally changed his life and his behavior‖ and
treatment was successful ―a rehabilitated defendant is not likely to be a recidivist‖); U.S. v.
Lange, 241 F. Supp. 2d 907 ( E.D. Wis. 2003) (where D convicted of distributing crack, 2 level
departure granted for post offense rehabilitation where he became leader of treatment group, gave
up drugs, reconnected with his family, and showed great insight into his problems); U.S. v.
Rosado, 254 F.Supp.2d 316 (SDNY 2003) (D convicted of distribution of heroin given 2 level
departure for post offense rehabilitation where he successfully complete shock incarceration
while in jail, obtained GED, gave up drugs, found employment, and severed ties with his drug-


                                              - 31 -
dealing friends); U.S. v. Bodden, 2002 WL 1364035 (SDNY June 24, 2002) (unpublished)
(defendant convicted of bank fraud with range of 18-24 months court grants departure to 6
months halfway house because of efforts at drug rehabilitation even where relapses ―The
standards for departure, particularly in the context of long-term drug addiction, do not require
unblemished success in a defendant's path to recovery, but rather extraordinary progress as
measured by all relevant factors.) ; U.S. v. K., 160 F.Supp.2d 421 (E.D.N.Y. 2001) (where D
convicted of trying to sell ecstasy and where government agreed that D should be sentenced on
basis of 1000 pills actually sold instead of 15,000 said he could get so guideline 12-18 months,
and where D mentally retarded, Judge Weinstein continues sentencing one year in part to
enable D to attend rehabilitation program and demonstrate post offense rehabilitation for
downward departure–strong statements in favor of continuing sentences to enable defendant to
show rehabilitation) (See Flowers below); U.S. v. Hernandez, 2001 WL 96369, *3 (S.D.N.Y.
Feb. 2, 2001)(unpublished) (D‘s ―significant and successful efforts at rehabilitation from her
addiction to heroin since her arrest are extraordinary factors warranting a downward departure‖
from 12-18 months to probation); U.S. v. Wilkes, 130 F.Supp.2d 222, 240-41 (D.Mass. 2001)
(departing where, after a decade of severe alcohol and drug abuse, defendant obtained
counseling, remained drug-free, and re-established meaningful personal and family
relationships); U.S. v. Seethaler, 2000 WL 1373670, *2 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 19, 2000)(unpub.)
(downward departure from 46 to 30 months for post-offense rehabilitation where D had
completely resolved the sexual fetish and had no continuing urges to search for pornography on
the Internet or in any other situation and where D appears to have re-established himself in his
family and in his occupational pursuits); U.S. v. Kane, 88 F.Supp.2d 408 (E.D. Pa. 2000) (where
D convicted of selling meth and where he had abused drugs and alcohol for 25 years, but where
urine tests since his release from drug program showed he had stopped use of drugs and limited
alcohol consumption, downward departure from 188 to 120 months warranted ―in recognition of
since effort to repair his life‖ even though a few lapses because lapses have to be viewed in
context of his former behavior); U.S. v. Blake, 89 F.Supp.2d 328 (E.D.N.Y. 2000) (in bank
robbery, departure from level 29 to level 8 and probation proper in part because incarcerating
defendant would ―reverse the progress she has made‖ and considering the decreasing
opportunities for rehabilitation in federal prisons resulting from ever-increasing prison
populations); U.S. v. Bennett, 9 F. Supp. 2d 513 (E.D.Pa. 1998) (even where defendant does not
accept responsibility, his full restitution early in case and efforts to recover funds warranted
downward departure 91 months (from 235 to 144) in part under §5K2.0), aff‘d 161 F.3d 171 (3d
Cir. 1998); U.S. v. Flowers, 983 F.Supp. 159 (E.D.N.Y. 1997) (Weinstein, J.) (sentencing
continued for one year to allow time to determine if D truly rehabilitated); U.S. v. Shasky,
939 F. Supp. 695 (D.Neb. 1996) (departing downward in child porn case where defendant
entered a nationally recognized sex offender program and had an excellent long-term prognosis
with minimum risk of re-offending); U.S. v. Griffiths, 954 F.Supp. 738 (D.Vt. 1997) (13-level
downward departure granted on basis of D‘s extraordinary rehabilitative efforts after D overcame
drug use, left his former lifestyle entirely behind him, and became involved in program for
children; D‘s progress would be utterly frustrated if D were incarcerated); U.S. v. Neiman, 828
F.Supp. 254 (S.D.N.Y.1993) (downward departure granted based upon likelihood of



                                             - 32 -
rehabilitation in non-narcotics context where religious leaders and family members agreed to
supervise home confinement and medical treatment was to be provided.)

        Note: In Ninth Circuit, do not frame issue in terms of rehabilitation from drug addiction,
because departure on this ground alone is forbidden. U.S. v. Martin, 938 F.2d 162 (9th Cir.
1991) (no departure possible for drug rehabilitation because guidelines already took into drug
addiction into account and departure would give break to an addict that non-addict doesn't get)
[Practice note: The result, if not the holding, highly questionable now in light of Koon and
Booker]; see U.S. v. Akin, 62 F.3d 700 (5th Cir. 1995) (five circuits allow departure for
extraordinary presentence efforts in alcohol or drug rehabilitation); see U.S. v. Ragan, 952 F.2d
1049, 1050 (8th Cir. 1992) (not plain error to grant downward departure to D who had stopped
using drugs for a year before his indictment and who maintained steady employment); U.S. v.
Maddalena, 893 F.2d 815, 818 (6th Cir. 1989) (district court may consider D's pre-arrest efforts
to avoid drugs in extraordinary circumstances); U.S. v. Maier, 975 F.2d 944, 946-49 (2d Cir.
1992) (affirming downward departure and noting distinction between drug dependence and effort
to conquer drug dependence so 5H1.4 not relevant; contrary to 9th Circuit, rehabilitation is
worthy goal of sentencing, even if not of incarceration); U.S. v. Sklar, 920 F.2d 107 (1st Cir.
1990); U.S. v. Williams; 948 F.2d 706 (11th Cir. 1991) (truly extraordinary post-arrest pre-
sentence recovery may justify downward departure); U.S. v. Harrington, 947 F.2d 956 (D.C. Cir.
1991).

28.    Post-Offense Restitution.

         U.S. v. Kim, 364 F.3d 1235 (11th Cir. 2004) (Payment of $280,000 restitution by
defendants, a husband and wife, after they pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States
and fraudulently obtaining government assistance, respectively, was extraordinary enough to
remove case from heartland and justify downward departure from 24 months to probation and
home detention where defendants dipped significantly into their life savings and voluntarily
undertook enormous amount of debt to pay restitution; defendants' conduct demonstrated their
sincere remorse and acceptance of responsibility); U.S. v. Garlich, 951 F.2d 161, 163 (8th Cir.
1991) (district court erred in failing to exercise its discretion to determine if defendant who
turned over assets of $1.4 million to cover loss of $253,000 merited departure for extraordinary
restitution); U.S. v. Miller, 991 F.2d 552, 553-54 (9th Cir. 1993) (remanding for district court to
determine whether $58,000 repaid for $45,000 embezzled constituted atypical restitution); U.S.
v. Hairston, 96 F.3d 102, 107-08 (4th Cir.1996) (1997) (payment of restitution can, in
exceptional circumstances, be basis for departure from sentencing guidelines-here, however,
restitution of less than half of money embezzled and only after indictment to avoid civil liability
not extraordinary); U.S. v. Lieberman, 971 F.2d 989, 996 (3d Cir. 1992) (affirming departure
where defendant agreed to pay "$34,000 more than he thought he owed and to which he pled
guilty"); U.S. v. Bennett, 9 F.Supp.2d 513 (E.D.Pa. 1998) (even where defendant does not
accept responsibility, his full restitution early in case and efforts to recover funds warranted
downward departure 91 months (from 235 to 144) in part under §5K2.0): United States v.
DeMonte, 25 F.3d 343, 346 (6th Cir.1994) (stating that "we have acknowledged that


                                              - 33 -
restitutionary payments may constitute 'exceptional circumstances' that justify a downward
departure" (citing United States v. Brewer, 899 F.2d 503, 509 (6th Cir.1990))); United States v.
Bean, 18 F.3d 1367, 1369 (7th Cir.1994) ("Undoubtedly there are circumstances that would
justify using § 5K2.0 to [depart downward on the basis of restitution] beyond [the] two levels [of
reduction provided by § 3E1.1]."); United States v. Oligmueller, 198 F.3d 669, 672 (8th
Cir.1999) (affirming a district court's downward departure on the basis of extraordinary
restitution because "[w]e have previously held that cases can fall outside the heartland when
there are extraordinary efforts at restitution" (citing United States v. Garlich, 951 F.2d 161, 163
(8th Cir.1991)).

29.    Voluntary Disclosure Of A Crime.

        U.S.S.G. §5K2.16; U.S. v. Jones, 158 F.3d 492 (10th Cir. 1998) (where defendant pled
guilty to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, the district court did not abuse its
discretion in departing downward by three levels when, as one of eleven factors, it considered
that the defendant voluntarily disclosed to pretrial services officer false statements he made to
obtain firearm even though would have been inevitably discovered by FBI); U.S. v. Plunkett,
(Cr. 93-60, Sept. 7, 1993)(in unarmed bank robbery case, under U.S.S.G. 5K2.16, Helen Frye in
departed downward 18 levels, from 21 to 3 because the defendant, while serving time on an
unrelated sentence, called up the FBI and confessed to a robbery he had committed two years
earlier); U.S. v. DeMonte, 25 F.3d 343 (6th Cir. 1994) (in computer fraud case, departure proper
on ground that defendant admitted to crimes about which government had no knowledge, even
though plea bargain required cooperation-remanded); but see U.S. v. Brownstein, 79 F.3d 121
(9th Cir.1996)(no departure permissible under §5K2.16 where D voluntarily came to police about
bank robberies because police already knew about crimes even if they didn't know who did
them).

30 A. Voluntary Cessation of Criminal Conduct Before Discovery

        U.S. v. Numemacher, 362 F.3d 682 (10th Cir. 2004) (where D possessed and distributed
child porn on his website for a short time but destroyed all porn before learning of the
investigation and where he cooperated with the FBI, conduct ―atypical‖ and justified a downward
departure)

31.    The Defendant Showed Utter Lack Of Sophistication.

       U.S. v. Jagmohan, 909 F.2d 61 (2d Cir. 1990)(where D bribed city official, downward
departure from 15 to 21 months to probation and fine warranted because defendant's use of
personal check in bribery transaction showed ―utter lack...of sophistication‖ usually shown by
persons bribing an official); cf. U.S. v. Castro-Cervantes, 927 F.2d 1079, 1081 (9th Cir. 1990)
(upward departure upheld because guidelines "do not take into account the sophistication of the
robber").



                                              - 34 -
*32.   Cooperation With Authorities To Prosecute Others.

        U.S.S.G. §5K1.1 (Upon motion of the government); U.S. v. Udo, 963 F.2d 1318, 1319
(9th Cir. 1992) (once government makes motion, court can depart more than government
recommends); U.S. v. Tenzer, 213 F.3d 34 (2d Cir. 2000) (remanded –district court does have
discretion to depart where D tried to negotiate with IRS to make payments through voluntary
disclosure program, even though talks broke down and D convicted).

33. Cooperation With Third Party Business, Not For Prosecution of Others.
        U.S. v. Truman, 304 F.3d 586 (6th Cir. 2002) (where defendant stole large quantities of
controlled substances from lab, and after his arrest, provided information that led to upgrades in
the security procedures used by the lab, district court erred in not considering whether it could
court departed downward from sentencing range of 121 to 151 months under 5K2.0 , which
authorizes departure for circumstances not mentioned by the Sentencing Commission, even
though gov. did not file 5K1.1 cooperation motion, citing U.S. v. Kaye, 140 F.3d 86 (2nd Cir.
1998) ( "when a defendant moves for a downward departure on the basis of cooperation or
assistance to government authorities which does not involve the investigation or prosecution of
another person, U.S.S.G. § 5K1.1 does not apply and the sentencing court is not precluded from
considering the defendant's arguments solely because the government has not made a motion to
depart." Case remanded).

34.    Cooperation With The Judiciary And Facilitation of The Administration Of Justice.

        U.S. v. Garcia, 926 F.2d 125 (2d Cir. 1991) (even in absence of government §5K1.1
motion, court can depart downward where defendant's plea induced others to plead thereby
clearing busy trial court's calendar); U.S. v. Carrozza, 807 F. Supp. 156 (D.Mass. 1992) (same)
aff‘d, 4 F.3d 70 (1st Cir. 1993); U.S. v. Patillo, 817 F. Supp. 839 (C.D.Cal. 1993) (a complex of
mitigating factors including aberrant conduct, minimal role, and assistance to probation officer
during L.A. riots); contra, U.S. v. Shrewsberry, 980 F.2d 1296 (9th Cir. 1992) (Practice idea:
Reconsider in light of Koon and especially Booker); see U.S. v. Dethlefs, 123 F.3d 39 (1st
Cir. 1997) (criticizing Shrewsberry and noting that since Koon, ―in theory, the court had
authority to depart for conduct (i.e., the timely guilty pleas) which conserved judicial resources
and thereby facilitated the administration of justice‖ Court said, however, ―the case for departure,
overall, falls so far short of Garcia that the court's global departures cannot survive‖); U.S v.
Shah, 263 F.Supp.2d 10 (D.D.C. 2003) (d‘s plea which encourages others to plead could serve as
ground for departure but not here).




                                               - 35 -
35.    Cooperation Of The Defendant On Court's Own Motion Where Government
       Refuses To Make §5K1.1 Motion.

        U.S. v. Khoury, 62 F.3d 1138 (9th Cir. 1995) (court may depart downward where
government refuses to make §5K1.1 motion because D went to trial although gov. initially
offered to do so and where D's cooperation led to arrest of co-D); U.S. v. Treleaven, 35 F.3d 458
(9th Cir. 1994); U.S. v. Paramo, 998 F.2d 1212 (3d Cir. 1993) (remanded to show whether
government's refusal to make §5K1.1 motion for only coconspirator who went to trial was
pretextual). When departing downward, court must evaluate D's cooperation on an
individualized basis and cannot engage in mechanical reduction of only 3-levels. U.S. v. King,
53 F.3d 589, 590-92 (3d Cir. 1995).

36. Cooperation that saved life of government informant

United States v. Khan, 920 F.2d 1100 (2d Cir.1990) (the defendant's activity in protecting the
       safety of a confidential informant is the sort of substantial assistance that the sentencing
       court could consider absent a government motion, since an exception to § 5K1.1's motion
       requirement exists "where the defendant offers information regarding actions he took,
       which could not be used by the government to prosecute other individuals.").

37.    Cooperation With Congressional Committee.

        U.S. v. Stoffberg, 782 F. Supp. 17 (E.D.N.Y. 1992) (where defendant convicted of
violating munitions export laws and sentencing range 8-14 months, three level downward
departure proper where House Committee wrote letter to sentencing judge asking for
consideration in light o defendant‘s testimony and cooperation with Committee).

*38.   Cooperation With State Or Local Authorities.

       Government has authority to move under §5K1.1 for downward departure even if D
cooperated only with state authorities. U.S. v. Emery, 34 F.3d 911 (9th Cir. 1994), and §5K1.1
motion not necessary where defendant cooperated with local law-enforcement. U.S. v. Kaye,
140 F.3d 86 (2d Cir. 1998), vacating, 65 F.3d 240 (2d Cir. 1995); contra, U.S. v Emery, 34 F.3d
911, 913 (9th Cir. 1994) (§5K1.1 controls cooperation to local authorities so that departures
available only on government motion).

39.    Cooperation By Third Party On Behalf Of Defendant.

        Cooperation by defendant‘s girlfriend permits downward departure under 18 U.S.C.
§3553(b) because cooperation is an encouraged basis of departure; and cooperation by third
parties on behalf of the defendant is not mentioned by the guidelines. Here, while D incarcerated,
D asked girlfriend to work for police, and she set up drug buys with no remuneration. So
departure of 3 levels granted. U.S. v. Abercrombie, 59 F.Supp. 2d 585 (S.D. W.Va. 1999)


                                              - 36 -
40.    Attempted Cooperation With IRS.

       U.S. v. Tenzer, 213 F.3d 34 (2d Cir. 2000) (remanded –district court has discretion to
depart where D tried to negotiate with IRS to make payments through voluntary disclosure
program, even though talks broke down and D convicted).

*41.   Extraordinary Family Situations Or Responsibilities Or Where Incarceration
       Would Have Extraordinary Effect On Innocent Family Members.
        Caveat one: For crimes committed on or after October 27, 2003, USSG 5H1.6 adds
commentary giving list of factors court should consider in determining whether to depart on this
ground including seriousness of the offense, involvement in the offense, danger to family
members, whether service of sentence with range will cause substantial and special loss of
essential care taking, etc.; [But question relevance now in light of Booker]

       Caveat two: For sex and child porn crimes committed on or after April 30, 2003, this
departure arguably no longer available, but question this caveat in light of Booker..

         Otherwise, see U.S. v. Leon, 341 F.3d 928 (9th Cir. 2003) (in false income tax return
case court affirms district court's downward departure of six levels from 30 months to 10-16
months granted because defendant sole caregiver of his wife who suffered from renal failure and
is suicidal-court reaches same result whether standard is abuse of discretion or de novo as
required by Feeney amendment); U.S. v. Aguirre, 214 F.3d 1122 (9th Cir. 2000) (within district
court‘s discretion to depart downward 4 levels for extraordinary family circumstances "based on
the fact that there is an 8 year-old son who's lost a father and would be losing a mother for a
substantial period of time"); U.S. v. Dominguez, 296 F.3d 192 (3rd Cir.2002) (in bank fraud
case, district court erred in holding it could not depart four levels downward for defendant who
resided with her elderly parents, who were physically and financially dependant upon her where
father had undergone brain surgery and had suffered a heart attack, was non-ambulatory, obese,
incontinent, has significantly impaired mental ability, and experiences difficulty speaking, and
where mother has severe arthritis and heart problems which prevented her from physically caring
for her husband and, although she is seventy-five years old, is now forced to work to support
him... circumstances were "truly tragic‖); U.S. v. Gauvin, 173 F.3d 798 (10th Cir. 1999) (where
defendant supported 4 young children and wife worked 14 hours a day 44 miles from home and
barely able to provide for children, and at risk of losing custody of children and job, and no
extended family to take custody of children, departure of three levels to 37 months, making D
eligible for shock incarceration, warranted under §5H1.6 ―to minimize the impact of defendant‘s
children‖); U.S. v. Owens, 145 F.3d 923 (7th Cir. 1998) (affirmed downward departure from
level 32 (169 to 210 months) to 120 months under 5H1.6 for defendant convicted of possession
of crack cocaine with intent to distribute where "he maintained a good relationship with his
[three] children"; he also spent time every day with a brother who suffered from Downs
Syndrome and where common law wife testified that if the defendant went to prison "she might
have to move to public-assisted housing and receive welfare benefits." So district court said
defendant's situation "differs from that of a typical crack dealer in that [the defendant] takes an

                                              - 37 -
active role in raising his children and supporting his family." ); U.S. v. Galante, 111 F.3d 1029
(2d Cir.1997) (affirms district court‘s downward departure in drug case from 46-57 months to 8
days – where D showed he was a conscientious and caring father of two sons who would have
faced severe financial hardships ); United States v. Milikowsky, 65 F.3d 4, 8 (2d Cir. 1995)
("Among the permissible justifications for downward departure ... is the need, given appropriate
circumstances, to reduce the destructive effects that incarceration of a defendant may have on
innocent third parties."); U.S. v. Rivera, 994 F.2d 942, 952-54 (1st Cir. 1993) (Note: reasoning
of this case largely adopted in Koon) (Breyer, J.); U.S. v. Haversat, 22 F.3d 790 (8th Cir. 1994)
(in antitrust case where husband's care is critical to well-being of mentally ill wife, downward
departure ok, but not to probation); U.S. v. Ekhator, 17 F.3d 53 (2d 1994) (even where d agreed
not to ask for downward departure court may do so sua sponte if unusual family circumstances;
here Nigerian widow with five children 3 of whom were very ill; remanded); U.S. v. One Star, 9
F.3d 60 (8th Cir. 1993) (ex-felon in possession – departure downward from 33 months to
probation proper where defendant not dangerous, possessed revolver in self-defense, had strong
family ties, and lived on Indian reservation); U.S. v. Sclamo, 997 F.2d 970 (1st Cir. 1993)
(affirmed downward departure from 24-30 month range to six months home detention for
defendant who had been living with a divorced woman and her two children since and had
developed special relationship with woman's son that helped ameliorate son's serious
psychological and behavioral problem, and son would regress if D incarcerated); U.S. v. Gaskill,
991 F.2d 82, 85-86 (3d Cir. 1993) (remanded for court to consider downward whether departure
to house confinement or probation warranted under §5H1.6 where defendant only care-provider
to mentally ill wife, no danger to community – indeed benefit to it by allowing D to care for wife
– and only short period of incarceration called for); U.S. v. Johnson, 964 F.2d 124, 128-130 (2d
Cir. 1992) (where D was a single mother responsible for three young children and young child of
her institutionalized daughter, depart not because D has lesser culpability but because ―we are
reluctant to wreak extraordinary destruction on dependents who rely solely on the
defendant for their upbringing‖); U.S. v. Alba, 933 F.2d 1117, 1122 (2d Cir. 1991) (D and
wife cared for four and eleven year old and disabled father and paternal grandmother,
incarceration could well result in destruction of an otherwise strong family unit); U.S. v. Pena,
930 F.2d 1486, 1495 (10th Cir. 1991) (single parent of infant and sole support of sixteen-year-old
daughter and daughter's infant); U.S. v. Big Crow, 898 F.2d 1326, 1331 (8th Cir. 1990) (solid
family and community ties and "consistent efforts to lead a decent life in the difficult
environment" of an Indian reservation).
District Court

U.S. .v. Mateo, 299 F.Supp.2d 201 (S.D.N.Y. 2004) (in heroin case where defendant‘s two
young children were ―thrust into the care‖ of defendant‘s relatives, ―who report extreme
difficulties in raising them‖ and where both fathers are absent, and the children, now ages six and
one, will be raised apart from both biological parents for as long as the defendant is in custody, a
downward departure is appropriate); U.S. v. Colp, 249 F.Supp. 2d 740 (E.D. Va. 2003) (where
defendant pled guilty to one count of income tax evasion departure from guideline range of 10 to
16 months to probation warranted because of extraordinary family circumstances in that she was
the sole caretaker for her disabled husband who suffers from a brain injury resulting from auto

                                               - 38 -
accident. "Any period of incarceration‖ here would ―serve as an undue hardship on Mr. Colp‖);
U.S. v. Greene, 249 F.Supp.2d 262 (SDNY 2003) (in tax case D granted seven-level departure
because of extraordinary charitable good works as well as extraordinary family circumstances
including being single parent of three adopted children with numerous psychological problems
and highly dependent on D and in desperate need of stability); U.S. v. Norton, 218 F.Supp.2d
1014 ( E.D.Wisc. 2002); (departure from 15-21 months to probation and home confinement
granted to D convicted of credit card fraud observing that the Guidelines ―do not require a judge
to leave compassion and common sense at the door to the courtroom.‖ (U.S. v. Johnson, 964 F.2d
124, 125 (2nd Cir. 1992). The defendant was a 38-year old single mother of three children who
cares for aging mother. If she were incarcerated, the children would ―almost certainly‖ be
placed in foster care. It is proper to consider harm to children because a court must consider the
public interest which requires that a defendant be held accountable for her conduct. However,
"the public also has an interest in not having children unnecessarily placed in foster care. Such
placements increase costs to taxpayers and may be more likely to cause children to become law
breakers. See generally, John Hagan & Ronit Dinovitzer, Collateral Consequences of
Imprisonment for Children, Communities, and Prisoners, 26 Crime & Justice 121 (1999). ― A
departure is most appropriate when the defendant ‗could be given probation (or home
confinement) rather than incarceration with only a small downward departure‘.‖ Court was
reluctant ―to wreak extraordinary destruction on dependents who rely solely on the defendant for
their upbringing.‖); U.S. v. Kloda, 133 F.Supp.2d 345 (S.D.N.Y. 2001) (father and daughter
who filed false tax returns for their business entitled to downward departure in part because of
needs of daughter's small children. A judge must sentence ―without ever being indifferent to a
defendant's plea for compassion, for compassion also is a component of justice.‖); U.S. v. Tineo,
2000 WL 759837 (S.D.N.Y. June 8, 2000) (downward departure is warranted if "incarceration in
accordance with the Guidelines might well result in the destruction of an otherwise strong family
unit‖ in credit card fraud departure from 10 to 16 months to probation is warranted where mother
sole financial support of three young children); U.S. v. Blake, 89 F.Supp.2d 328 (E.D.N.Y.
2000) (in bank robbery, departure from level 29 to level 8 and probation proper in part because of
emotional trauma 3-year-old daughter would suffer); U.S. v. Wehrbein, 61 F.Supp.2d 958 (D.
Neb. 1999) (downward departure to probation in case involving low-level trafficking in
methamphetamine and possession of weapons; where D‘s 11-year-old son, whose emotional and
mental disorders improved markedly when defendant returned from serving state sentence on
similar charges, would be harmed if D not present to provide continued structured discipline,
there were no other care givers available to substitute for defendant and federal government
could have avoided or lessened impact on child if federal prosecutor had not delayed 14 months
after matter was referred before commencing federal case); U.S. v. Hammond, 37 F.Supp.2d 204
(E.D.N.Y. 1999) (defendant in drug case suffering from advanced HIV entitled to a downward
departure from 48 to 18 months where family will suffer extraordinary financial and emotional
harsh from his incarceration. ―A sentence without a downward departure would contribute to the
needless suffering of young, innocent children.‖); U.S. v. Lopez, 28 F.Supp.2d 953 (E.D.Pa.
1998) (extraordinary family circumstances warranted a downward departure of six levels for a
defendant who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and to forfeiture charge where
D‘s seven-year-old daughter suffered mental illness and attempted suicide since the defendant's


                                              - 39 -
arrest. A risk existed that the defendant's parental rights would be terminated if she was
sentenced to her full range of incarceration. In addition, the defendant was not involved in
large-scale drug dealing); U.S. v. Chambers, 885 F.Supp. 12, 14 (D.D.C. 1995) (defendant is
single mother with two children ages 12 and 15, incarcerating defendant for 15 years would
deprived children of sole parent ―that children need supportive and loving parents to avoid the
perils of life is without question . . . causing needless suffering of young, innocent children does
not promote the ends of justice‖); U.S. v. Blackwell, 897 F.Supp. 586, 588 (D.D.C. 1995)
(causing needless suffering of innocent children not in the interests of justice); U.S. v. Rose, 885
F.Supp. 62 (E.D.N.Y. 1995) (D, charged with interstate receipt of firearm, who had no prior
record and who assumed role of non-custodial surrogate father to four children and aided
struggling grandmother in raising them merited downward departure to probation because the
departure "is on behalf of the family"); U.S. v. Newell, 790 F.Supp. 1063, 1064 (E.D.Wash.
1992) (granting downward departure to defendant who was caretaker of six young children).
42.    Incarceration Would Have Extraordinary Effect On Business Causing Loss Of
       Jobs.

       The high probability that business run by an antitrust offender would go under if her were
incarcerated and the resulting hardship on 100 employees of those business justified downward
departure of one level from 11 to 10 authorizing probation. U.S. v. Milikowsky, 65 F.3d 4 (2d
Cir. 1995); U.S. v. Olbres, 99 F.3d 28 (1st Cir. 1996) (guidelines do not prohibit departure on
grounds that incarceration of defendant will cause job losses to his employees; case remanded to
determine if extent of loss outside the heartland of such cases); U.S. v. Kloda, 133 F.Supp.2d
345 (S.D.N.Y. 2001) (in business tax fraud case, one-level departure granted in part because of
―the needs of [defendant‘s] business and employees‖).

43.    Defendant Engaged In Exceptional Charitable And Community Activities and Good
       Works.

        U.S. v. Cooper, 394 F.3d 172 (3rd Cir. 2005) (in securities fraud and tax evasion case,
with sentence range of 14-21 months, four-level downward sentencing departure for "good
works" and sentence of probation was warranted for defendant‘s ―exceptional‖ good works
who did not simply donate money to charity but also organized and ran youth football team in
depressed area, mentored its members, and helped several members attend better high schools or
go to college, which qualified as exceptional because they entail ―hands on personal sacrifices
which have a dramatic and positive impact on the lives of others‖ ).




                                               - 40 -
         U.S. v. Serafini, 233 F.3d 758 (3d Cir. 2000)(community service and charitable works
performed by defendant, a state legislator convicted of perjury in a federal grand jury
investigation, were sufficiently "extraordinary and exceptional" to justify three-level downward
departure for community and charitable activities; e.g., providing a $300,000 guarantee for
medical treatment of a terminally ill patient and mentoring a seriously injured college student,
and showed generosity of time as well as money); U.S. v. Woods, 159 F.3d 1132 (8th Cir. 1998)
(defendant‘s exceptional charitable efforts – bringing two troubled young women in her home,
paying for them to attend private high school – and also assisting elderly friend to move from
nursing home to apartment – justified one level departure); U.S. v. Jones, 158 F.3d 492 (10th
Cir. 1998) (where defendant pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, the
district court did not abuse its discretion in departing downward by three levels when, as one of
eleven factors, it considered defendant‘s long history of community service even though under
§§5H1.5 and 1.11 good works are not ordinarily relevant because here ―very unusual‖); U.S. v.
Crouse, 145 F.3d 786 (6th Cir. 1998) (where D was chief executive officer of company found to
have fraudulent distributed orange juice adulterated with sugar, and where judge departed
downward 13 levels to impose home confinement where guidelines were 30-37 months, court of
appeals will defer to district court‘s decision that D‘s charitable contribution were outstanding
and, together with other factors, justify departure, but extent was an abuse of discretion); U.S. v.
Rioux, 97 F.3d 648 , 663 (2d Cir. 1996) (affirming downward departure based on charitable
fund-raising conduct as well as poor medical condition); U.S. v. Canoy, 38 F.3d 893 (7th Cir.
1994) (charitable and civic activities may, if exceptional, provide a basis for departure).

       District Court

       U.S. v. Greene, 249 F.Supp.2d 262 (SDNY 2003) (in tax case D granted seven-level
departure because of extraordinary charitable good works--devoting his life to orphaned children,
while just a salaried employee, and extraordinary family circumstances); U.S. v. Bennett, 9
F.Supp.2d 513 (E.D.Pa. 1998) (in largest charitable fraud in history, where under §5H1.11
defendant‘s civic and charitable good deeds were extraordinary, together with other grounds,
departure from 232 to 92 months warranted – D had substantial contributions in the areas of
substance abuse, children and youth, and juvenile justice were well documented and well
recognized.); U.S. v. Wilke, 995 F.Supp. 828 (N. D. Ill. 1998) (defendant‘s contribution to an art
and music festival, to theater work, and to his interfaith food pantry warrant departure), vacated
and remanded, 156 F.3d 749 (7th Cir. 1998).

44 Good Deeds (e.g., saving a life)

               U.S. v. Acosta, 846 F.Supp. 278 (SDNY 1994) (where D convicted of attempted
robbery, D's have rescued baby from burning building together with D‘s mild retardation justifies
departure ―Acosta's life saving, heroic act in itself justifies such a departure but certainly does so
when considered in combination with his retarded mental condition‖) [quote the Talmudic saying
that ―he who saves one life is as one who has saved the whole world.‖]



                                                - 41 -
45.    Defendant’s Status As War Refugee And His Lack Of Education.

        Defendant convicted of drug offenses involving opium. Defendant's status as refugee and
profound lack of education warranted a departure where defendant from Laos and fled country
because of service to U.S. with CIA. Lack of education coupled with refugee status made
virtually impossible to earn a lawful living. Departure justified. U.S. v. Vue, 865 F.Supp. 1353
(D.Neb. 1994).

46.    Defendant’s Extreme Anguish From Involving Son In Scheme.

        Where defendant suffered extremely "a great deal more anguish and remorse than is
typical" in involving son in scheme to obtain accelerated payments from government to save
business, downward departure proper. U.S. v. Monaco, 23 F.3d 793 (3d Cir.1994).
*47. Defendant’s Diminished Mental Capacity.

        Caveat I: Effective April 30, 2003, this departure has been eliminated for convictions for
certain sex and child porn crimes. USSG 5K2.13.Caveat II: For Crimes committed after
October 27, 2003, USSG 5K2.13 amended to add requirement that diminished capacity must
have “contributed substantially” to the commission of the offense. [But caveats of questionable
force now in light of Booker] Otherwise, Note, effective November 1, 1998: U.S.S.G.
§5K2.13 (diminished capacity), which used to limit departures to ―non-violent‖ cases, liberalized
to authorize a downward departure if the defendant committed the offense ―while suffering from
a significantly reduced mental capacity.‖ This applies if D has a significantly impaired ability to
understand the wrongfulness of his behavior or to ―control behavior‖ that he knows is wrongful.
No departure is authorized if (1) the reduced mental capacity was caused by the voluntary use of
drugs; (2) there is a need to protect the public because the offense involved ―actual violence or a
serious threat of violence‖; or (3) defendant‘s criminal history indicates need to incarcerate to
protect the public. Note: Guideline should apply in typical, unarmed bank robbery cases (if no
threat of death) because no ―actual violence‖ and no ―serious‖ threat of violence. See U.S. v.
Bradshaw, 1999 WL 1129601 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 3, 1999) (unpublished) (recognizing that unarmed
bank robbery with no serious threat of violence would now qualify for departure but rejects
departure here because defendant‘s lengthy criminal history of armed robberies and batteries
shows incarceration necessary to protect the public); Thus, new guideline implicitly overrules
U.S. v. Cook, 53 F.3d 1029 (9th Cir. 1995) (unarmed bank robbery is crime of violence so no
departure either under §5K2.12 or §5H2.2-6) and U.S. v. Borrayo, 898 F.2d 91, 94 (9th Cir.
1990); see U.S. v. Chatman, 986 F.2d 1446 (D.C. Cir. 1993) (diminished capacity departure not
precluded in case where bank robber presented a note and note gun involved-remanded). Note
Further that in U.S. v. Checoura, 176 F.Supp.2d 310 (D.N.J. 2001), the court said that
―departures for diminished mental capacity are encouraged by the Sentencing Guidelines‖under
§5K2.13 – also note direct causal link between illness and crime not required).

       The "goal of the guideline [§ 5K2.13] is lenity toward defendants whose ability to make
reasoned decisions is impaired." U.S. v. Cantu, 12 F.3d 1506, 1512, 1516 (9th Cir. 1993)


                                              - 42 -
(where felon possessed firearm, the district court has discretion to downward depart in case of
post-traumatic stress disorder and should resentence in the awareness that "the criminal justice
system long has meted out lower sentences to persons who although not technically insane are
not in full command of their actions."); U.S. v. Thompson, 315 F.3d 1071 (9th Cir.2002)
(Berzon, J. concurring) (although district court erred in departing downward on ground that D's
conduct outside heartland of possession of child porn guideline, district court should consider
departure for diminished capacity because D could not control his addiction to porn); U.S. v.
Lighthall, 389 F.3d 791 (8th Cir. 2004) (where 21 year old college student convicted of
possessing and distributing porn, 20 month downward departure (from 80 month sentence)
proper because of ―obsessive compulsive disorder‖ leading defend to gather pornography
obsessively—as attested two by the unrebutted opinions of two doctors, noting that ― Section
5K2.13 is targeted at offenders who demonstrate "a significantly impaired ability to ... control
behavior that the defendant knows is wrongful." Application Note 1(B)—also noting that [before
the Protect Act passed on April 30, 2003] the guideline applicable to Lighthall's case, does not
"contain[ ] any language suggesting that diminished capacity is not a permissible basis for
departure in child pornography cases."); U.S. v. Lewinson, 988 F.2d 1005 (9th Cir. 1993)
(affirmed 4-level downward departure under §5K2.13 in fraud case even though some drug use
because about half the time no drugs; and even though mental disease not severe and did not
affect D's ability to perceive reality; drug use was both "a product and factor of his impaired
mental condition"); Caro v. Woodford, 280 F.3d 1247, 1258 (9th Cir. 2002) (death penalty-
vacated ―more than any other singular factor, mental defects have been respected as a reason for
leniency in our criminal justice system‖); Karis v. Calderon, 283 F.3d 1117, 1134 (9th Cir.
2002)( ―There is a belief, long held by this society, that defendants who commit criminal acts that
are attributable to a disadvantaged background or to emotional and mental problems, may be less
culpable than defendants who have no such excuse."); U.S. v. Silleg, 311 F.3d 557 (2d Cir.
2002) (district court has authority to downward depart in porn case where defendant has
diminished capacity and cannot control addiction to porn); United States v. Cockett, 330 F.3d
706 (6th Cir. 2003) (in income tax fraud case diminished capacity downward departure from 21
months to probation affirmed because of defendant' depressive disorder even though jury
necessarily found mental element of intent and even though no causal link between disorder and
the crime); U.S. v. Sadolsky, 234 F.3d 938 (6th Cir. 2000) (district court's two-level downward
departure under §5K2.13 in computer fraud, based on defendant's compulsive gambling disorder,
was not an abuse of discretion, where defendant's disorder was a likely cause of his criminal
behavior, given that he had already "maxed out" his own credit line before resorting to fraud to
pay his gambling debts – no direct causal link required between the diminished capacity and the
crime charged); U.S. v. McBroom, 124 F.3d 533 (3d Cir. 1997) (D pled guilty to possession of
child porn and moved for reduction under §5K2.13 on grounds he suffered from reduced mental
capacity due to sexual abuse as child which compelled him to possess child porn. District court
ruled crime nonviolent but denied reduction because D was very smart and could reason. Court
of appeals remanded and said intelligence only one aspect and D eligible for departure if ―cannot
control his behavior or conform it to the law‖ – also agreed with Cantu that §5K2.13 ―applies
both to mental defects and emotional disorders . . . the focus is on mental capacity not the cause –
organic, behavioral, or both‖); U.S. v. Chatman, 986 F.2d 1446, 1454 (D.C.Cir.1993) (court


                                               - 43 -
undertakes its inquiry into defendant‘s mental condition and the circumstances of the offense
"with a view to lenity, as § 5K2.13 implicitly recommends."); see Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S.
302, 322 (1989) (O‘Connor, J., concurring) ("mental retardation may render a defendant "less
morally culpable than defendant who have no such excuse").

District Court

U.S. v. Tanasi, 2003 WL 328303 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 6, 2003) (unpub.) (D convicted of possessing
and sending child porn by computer to undercover agent pretending to be 13 year old entitled to
departure from 33-41 month guideline to 9 months because of diminished capacity given
―obsessive and compulsive behavior‖ and could not control his conduct and where no evidence D
was a sexual predator or ever was involved sexually with a child); U.S. v. Bennett, 9 F.Supp.2d
513 (E.D.Pa. 1998) (in largest charitable fraud case in history, departure to 141 months from 232
o.k. – questionable whether a departure should be attributed to an extraordinary mental and
emotional condition §5H1.3, a discouraged factor, or to diminished capacity, §5K2.13 an
encouraged factor. ―Regardless of one's point of view, defendant's cognitive faculties or volition,
or both, appear to have been subject to some form of extraordinary distortion and, perhaps,
significantly reduced capacity‖); U.S. v. Herbert, 902 F.Supp. 827(N.D. Ill.1995) (following
Lewinsohn, granting departure under §5K2.13 to defendant convicted of embezzlement where D
suffered from an active depressible illness, mixed personality state and had limited coping
capacity and poor judgment and shrink said her behaviors and though patterns were influenced
by her impaired mental condition); U.S. v. Risse, 83 F.3d 212 (8th Cir. 1996) (where defendant
pled guilty to use of a firearm in relation to drug trafficking crime and felon in possession, court
properly departed downward under §5K2.13 for diminished capacity based on defendant‘s post-
traumatic stress disorder resulting from service in Vietnam War); U.S. v. Glick, 946 F.2d 335,
338 (4th Cir. 1991) (in case of transportation of stolen property, departure from 30 months to
probation proper where defendant's diminished capacity was contributing factor the offense, even
if not sole cause of conduct); U.S. v. Chambers, 885 F.Supp. 12 (D. DC 1995) (where D
convicted of storing drugs in house, departure from 130 months to 20 months granted where
client was borderline mental defective and some brain damage, ―Justice is not served by placing a
34 year old mother of two children, ages 9 and 12, in jail for over fifteen years for allowing drugs
to be stored in her apartment, while the main perpetrator is allowed to go free‖ ―This case
represents another instance where the Sentencing Guidelines bear no relation to the gravity of the
crime committed, let alone a relation to the actual individual being sentenced‖); U.S. v. Adonis,
744 F.Supp. 336 (D.D.C. 1990) (downward departure where D‘s IQ of 64 showed he was
retarded where average IQ of prison population is 93). .

U.S. v. Davis, 919 F.2d 1181, 1187 (6th Cir. 1990) (downward departure justifiable when
defendant commits nonviolent offense while suffering from significantly reduced mental capacity
not resulting from voluntary use of intoxicants); U.S. v. Ruklick, 919 F.2d 95, 97, 99 (8th Cir.
1990) (downward departure justifiable when defendant suffered from longstanding schizophrenic
affective disorder that predated drug abuse and impaired judgment); U.S. v. Philibert, 947 F.2d
1467, 1471 (11th Cir. 1991) (downward departure warranted when defendant manifested
symptoms of severe mental illness and placed severed head of recently deceased horse on stairs

                                               - 44 -
of federal courthouse); U.S. v. Weddle, 30 F.3d 532, 540 (4th Cir. 1994) (downward departure
for defendant suffering from Hodgkin's disease upheld where d convicted of mailing threatening
letters in violation of 18 U.S.C. §876);


NOTE: IF FACTS DO NOT MEET CRITERIA FOR 5K2.13. RAISE ALTERNATIVE
ARGUMENT UNDER 5K2.0. See United States v. Allen, 205 F.Supp.2d 317 (SDNY 2003)
(where D convicted of guns and drugs, even though not suffering from diminished capacity as
defined by 5K2.13, departure from 70 to 30 months granted under 5K2.0 because of "the
combination of defendant's immaturity, his personal defects, and his subnormal intellectual
functioning at the time of the offense.") ; but see U.S. v. Smith 330 F.3d 1209 (9th Cir. 2003)
(rejecting theory that an improper diminished capacity departure under 5K2.13 may still be
proper under 5K2.0)

48. Mental Retardation

        Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304, 318 (2002) (―Mentally retarded persons...have
diminished capacities to understand and process information, to communicate, to abstract from
mistakes and learn from experience, to engage in logical reasoning, to control impulses, and to
understand the reactions of others... often act on impulse rather than pursuant to a premeditated
plan, and... are followers rather than leaders. Their deficiencies do not warrant an exemption
from criminal sanctions, but they do diminish their personal culpability.‖); Penry v. Lynaugh,
492 U.S. 302, 322 (1989) (O‘Connor, J., concurring) ("mental retardation may render a defendant
"less morally culpable than defendant who have no such excuse"); U.S. v. K., 160 F.Supp.2d
421 (E.D.N.Y. 2001) (where D convicted of trying to sell ecstasy and where government agreed
that D should be sentenced on basis of 1000 pills actually sold instead of 15,000 said he could
get so guideline 12-18 months, and where D mentally retarded, Judge Weinstein continues
sentencing one year in part to enable D to attend rehabilitation program and demonstrate post
offense rehabilitation for downward departure–strong statements in favor of continuing sentences
to enable defendant to show rehabilitation).

       District Court

        U.S. v. Allen, 250 F.Supp.2d 317 (SDNY 2003)(Where D convicted of drugs and guns, D
entitled to 8 level departure from 80 months to 30 months because his mental immaturity-even
though 21 behaves like 14 year old and psychological problems and mild retardation take case
out of heartland of drug and gun cases); U.S. v. Cotto, 793 F. Supp. 64 (E.D.N.Y. 1992)
(defendant's near mental retardation, his vulnerability, his efforts at rehabilitation and his
incompetence warranted four-level downward departure); U.S. v. Adonis, 744 F.Supp. 336
(D.D.C. 1990(downward departure where D‘s IQ of 64 showed he was retarded where average
IQ of prison population is 93). .




                                             - 45 -
49.    Compulsive Gambling Disorder.

        Caveat: Effective October 27, 2003 (crimes committed on or after that date), the guidelines
arguably prohibit a departure on this ground. See New USSG 5H1.4. But Booker changes this
result. For crimes committed before that date, see U.S. v. Vieke, 348 F.3d 811 (9th Cir. 2003)
(because government made only pro forma objection, court of appeals refuses to review district
court‘s four level downward departure to probation in credit card fraud case where district court said
crime committed because of ―pathological nature of the [gambling] addiction‖ and was ―totally out
of suit with the rest of her life and the behaviors‖ even though fraud went on for years); U.S. v.
Sadolsky, 234 F.3d 938 (6th Cir.2000) (district court's two-level downward departure under §5K2.13
in sentencing for computer fraud, based on defendant's compulsive gambling disorder, was not an
abuse of discretion, where defendant's gambling disorder was a likely cause of his criminal behavior,
given that he had already "maxed out" his own credit line before resorting to fraud to pay his
gambling debts – no direct causal link required between the diminished capacity and the crime
charged)

       District Court

          U.S. v. Liu, 267 F.Supp.2d 371 (EDNY 2003) (where defendant pled guilty to using
unauthorized credit card convenience checks issued to others, four level departure granted under
5K2.13 and sentence of 24 months imposed because, according to psychologist, defendant was
pathological gambler who fit all the DSM IV criteria. His condition was "evidenced by
participation in state-operated numbers games [and] this condition constituted an impulse
control disorder [that] led to crime [and] interfered with Liu's ability to control behavior he knew
was wrongful"); U.S. v. Checoura, 176 F.Supp.2d 310 (D.N.J. 2001) (Defendant pled guilty to
interstate transportation of stolen property and sought diminished mental capacity downward
departure based on her compulsive gambling. The district court observed that ―departures for
diminished mental capacity are encouraged by the Sentencing Guidelines‖ under 5K2.13 . The
court granted two level departure and held that: (1) direct causal link was not required between
disorder and crime charged in order to invoke diminished-capacity Guideline; (2) expert
testimony as to defendant's pathological gambling disorder supported Court's authority to depart
downward) U.S. v. Iaconetti, 59 F.Supp.2d 139 (D. Mass. 1999) (Defendant, who had no prior
criminal record and who pled guilty to the charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to
distribute cocaine, was entitled to eleven-level departure from Sentencing Guidelines (from level
25 to level 14) based on "single acts of aberrant behavior"--gambling debts to a loan shark caused
by defendant's gambling compulsion resulted in defendant agreeing with loan shark's idea as to
how to extinguish the debts after defendant had tried to pay the debts from his personal
resources, his business, and his family).
        .
50.     Battered Woman Syndrome.

       Proper ground for downward departure even if jury rejected defense. U.S. v. Whitetail,
956 F.2d 857 (8th Cir. 1992); U.S. v. Apple, 915 F.2d 899, 903 n.12 (4th Cir. 1990) (departure


                                               - 46 -
warranted where defendant was battered wife who suffered from chronic depression); U.S. v.
Gaviria, 804 F.Supp. 476 (E.D.N.Y. 1992) (downward departure justified based on defendant
being subservient to husband (battered woman)). See cases at paragraph 69 (Duress or
Coercion).

*51.   Defendant’s Extraordinary Mental And Emotional Condition.

        See USSG § 5H1.3 (mental and emotional conditions do not ―ordinarily‖ justify
departure); U.S. v. Walter, 256 F.3d 891 (9th Cir. 2001)(combination of brutal beatings by
defendant's father, the introduction to drugs and alcohol by his mother, and, most seriously, the
sexual abuse defendant faced at the hands of his cousin, constituted the type of extraordinary
circumstances justifying sentencing court's consideration of the psychological effects of
childhood abuse and establish diminished capacity); U.S. v. Garza-Juarez, 992 F.2d 896, 913
(9th Cir. 1993)(where d convicted of sale of guns and possession of silencers, court departed
downward under §5H1.3 where D suffered from panic disorder and agoraphobia. (Note: court did
not base its departure on "diminished capacity" §5K2.13); Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302, 322
(1989) (O‘Connor, J., concurring) ("mental retardation may render a defendant less morally
culpable than defendant who have no such excuse").

52.    Defendant Was Merely An Aider And Abettor.

        Downward departure proper for aider and abettor who merely supplied dilutent, because
guidelines did not contemplate such a circumstance. U.S. v. Posters 'N' Things, 969 F.2d 652
(8th Cir. 1992)

53.    Defendant Responsible For Only Part Of Loss.

       The district may depart downward if a defendant was not involved in all of his co-
conspirators efforts to defraud investor, causing the loss figure to overstate the defendant's
culpability. Case remanded to see whether 10 level departure appropriate. U.S. v. Arutunoff, 1
F.3d 1112 (10th Cir. 1993); U.S. v. Gregorio, 956 F.2d 341, 344-348 (1st Cir. 1992) (multiple
causation of victim loss justifies downward departure).

54.    Defendant Was Already Punished By Parole Commission On Earlier Pre-Guideline
       Offense (By Loss Of Parole).

        Where D is sentenced while already serving a pre-guideline sentence, court may consider
a defendant's loss of parole eligibility on earlier sentence as a factor in decision whether to
depart downward on later sentence. U.S. v. Moss, 972 F.2d 273 (9th Cir. 1992); U.S. v.
Whitehorse, 909 F.2d 316, 320 (8th Cir. 1990); U.S. v Stewart, 917 F.2d 970, 974 (9th Cir.
1990); Caldwell v U.S. , 842 F.Supp. 945 (E.D. Mich. 1994) (departure warranted for D
convicted while on parole for a prior offense and also sentenced as a parole violator to insure
total sentence did not exceed maximum allowable under guidelines).


                                             - 47 -
*55.   Defendant Already Punished By Having Earlier Sentence Increased Because Of
       Instant Crime.

       Even if Sentencing Commission has not formalized sentencing rules for multiple
conviction [see U.S.S.G. §5G1.3], district courts retain flexibility to downward depart to protect
D against double punishment. Witte v. U.S. , 515 U.S. 389 (1995).

56. Defendant already punished by home detention served before appeal


United States v. Miller, 991 F.2d 552, 554 (9th Cir.1993)(that defendant has ―already been
punished to some extent‖ by pretrial home detention‖ is grounds for departure); U.S. v.
Carpenter, 320 F.3d 334, 345 (2nd Cir. 2003) (home detention erroneously served can be grounds
for departure); United States v. Romualdi, 101 F.3d 971(3d Cir.1996)(―it may be proper to depart
because of the ... home detention [a defendant] had already served.‖).

57.    Prosecutor's Manipulation Of The Charges, Even If No Bad Faith.

        See U.S.S.G. Pt. A.4 ("a sentencing court may control any inappropriate manipulation of
the indictment through use of its departure power"); U.S. v. Gamez, 1 F.Supp. 2d 176 (E.D.N.Y.
1998) (Weinstein, J.) (departure from level 20 to 15 warranted in money laundering case because
nature of crime more closely resembled structuring crime which had lower guidelines); U.S. v.
Lieberman, 971 F.2d 989, 995 (3d Cir. 1992) (where prosecution charged D with tax evasion and
embezzlement, knowing not groupable, and other defendants not charged, court can depart
downward to ensure equality in sentencing and that U.S. Attorney not manipulate sentencing
even absent bad faith); see U.S. v. Deitz, 991 F.2d 443 (8th Cir. 1993) (Bright, J., dissenting)
(time to check enormous abuse and allow departure where feds agree to take over state pros after
state judges dismisses state charges for violation of state speedy trial act).

58.    Prosecutor Or Defense Misconduct Prejudices Defendant’s Plea Bargaining.

         U.S. v. Lopez, 106 F.3d 309, 311 (9th Cir. 1997)(here the prosecutor‘s misconduct in
dealing with defendant without his counsel, Barry Tarlow, prejudiced D‘s opportunity to possibly
obtain better plea bargain, three-level downward departure appropriate. (Note: This departure
has nothing to do with defendant‘s background or severity of the offense.); U.S. v. Basalo, 109
F.Supp.2d 1219 (N.D. Cal. 2000) (in drug case, unethical conduct of defense attorney inducing
client not to cooperate with government, and telling lies in his affidavit, and perjure himself
justifies eight-level downward departure from 292 months to 63 months), reversed, 258 F.3d
945 (9th Cir. 2001) (government's decision to withhold information that customs agents had
received cash awards for such things as preparing trial testimony could not be basis for
downward departure).

59.    Prosecutor’s Misconduct In Failing To Disclose Brady Material.


                                              - 48 -
        U.S. v. Sanderson, 110 F.Supp.2d 1221 (N.D.Cal. 2000) (where defendant‘s plea
bargaining position was subverted by the government's failure to disclose information regarding
the participation of government witnesses in an incentive program at the U.S. Customs Service,
four-level departure warranted, even though no new trial warranted); U.S. v. Basalo, 109
F.Supp.2d 1219 (N.D. Cal. 2000) (same), reversed 258 F.3d 945 (9th Cir. 2001) (rejecting claim
that Brady violation or ineffective assistance can constitute grounds for downward departure)
[Booker changes this result].

60.    Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel.

        Not valid ground for departure say U.S. v. Crippen, 961 F.2d 882 (9th Cir. 1992)
(alleged ineffective assistance of counsel in advising defendant to refuse plea agreement in earlier
state proceeding was not proper basis for downward departure from more serious guidelines
sentence in federal prosecution on identical charges; ineffective assistance of counsel is not
"mitigating or aggravating" circumstances did not make federal crime any less serious, or affect
defendant's culpability) and U.S. v. Basalo, 258 F.3d 945 (9th Cir.2001)); [but Booker changes
these results] but see U.S. v. Duran-Benitez, 110 F. Supp. 2d 133 (E.D.N.Y. 2000) (where
defense lawyer had conflict of interest because he was paid by third party to encourage defendant
not to rat out third party, so defendant did not cooperate, 2255 analysis applied at sentencing and
D granted 6-level downward departure which is what he would have received had he cooperated
and secured a §5K1.1 letter from the government).

*61.   Delay in Arrest or Charge.

           U.S. v. Gregory, 322 F.3d 1157 (9th Cir. 2003) (where D pled guilty to money
laundering and two years later was indicted for drugs crimes related to the money laundering,
dismissal of indictment improper, but district court on remand may depart to impose sentence
that would have been imposed had both crimes been brought at same time. A departure "may be
appropriate to mitigate the effects of any loss of grouping,"); U.S. v. Cornielle, 171 F.3d 748,
754 (2d Cir. 1999) (among other things, four-year preindictment delay in perjury prosecution
warranted one-level downward departure). In U.S. v. Sanchez-Rodriguez, 161 F.3d 556 , 563-
64 (9th Cir. 1998) (en banc) (the district court acted within its discretion when it departed
downward in an illegal reentry case (8 U.S.C. §1325) by 3 levels from 77 to 30 in part because
the delay in bringing the federal charge prejudiced the defendant's opportunity to obtain a
sentence concurrent to the state sentence he was already serving); U.S. v. Barrera-Saucedo, 385
F.3d 533 (5th Cir. 2004) (in illegal reentry case, district court has discretion to depart downward
for all or part of time defendant served in state custody from time federal immigration authorities
located him); U.S. v. Barth, 788 F. Supp. 1055 (D.Minn. 1992).(Deliberate delay of D's arrest to
keep piling up drug amounts to trigger mandatory minimum.) See Pre-Indictment Delay Cases
at ¶ 65.

62.    Gender Discrimination In Plea Bargaining.


                                              - 49 -
        Intentional discrimination by prosecutor on the basis of gender in plea bargaining "mule"
cases justifies downward departure. U.S. v. Redondo-Lemos, 817 F. Supp 812 (D.Ariz. 1993);
rev'd, U.S. v. Alcaraz-Peralta, 27 F.3d 439 (9th Cir. 1994) (on remand male defendant unable to
overcome presumption of constitutionality of prosecutorial decision in face of prosecutor's
explanation for disparate treatment).

63.    Prosecutor’s Misconduct – Selective Prosecution – Improper Investigative
       Techniques.

        U.S. v. Nolan-Cooper, 155 F.3d 221 (3d Cir. 1998) (departures based on investigative
misconduct unrelated to the guilt of the defendant are not expressly precluded and ―should not be
categorically proscribed‖); U.S. v. Coleman, 188 F.3d 354 (6th Cir. 1999) (en banc)
(Defendant‘s claim – that in executing a strategy of approaching felons as they were reporting to
their parole office, and offering to deal in drugs or firearms with targeted individuals, agent
targeted only African-American parolees – could justify a downward departure. Improper
investigative techniques are not factors considered by the guidelines, so under Koon, such
techniques may justify a departure if outside the heartland.)

64.    Minimal Role In The Offense.

         Minimal role as "mule" in drug conspiracy warrants downward departure but not below
statutory minimum. U.S. v. Valdez-Gonzalez, 957 F.2d 643 (9th Cir. 1992) (role in the drug
trade play by mules may constitute a mitigating circumstance of a kind or degree not considered
by guidelines warranting downward departure); but see U.S. v. Webster, 996 F.2d 209 (9th Cir.
1993) (effective Nov. 1, 1992, defendant's role in the offense makes couriers eligible for
mitigating role adjustments so downward departures on this ground alone not appropriate); U.S.
v. Patillo, 817 F. Supp. 839 (C.D.Cal. 1993) (D was a minor player when he delivered 500 grams
of crack to post office, because lived in a community where opportunities to become involved in
drug trafficking "are rampant" and D subject to "tremendous financial responsibilities," and
where Commission ignored the need for "greater variations in sentencing to account for the
vastly different culpabilities of the various players in the drug trade"); U.S. v. Restrepo, 936 F.2d
661 (2d Cir. 1991) (based on minimal role in a money laundering offense – merely unloading
boxes of money in a warehouse on one date – defendant received both a four-level offense level
reduction and a four-level downward departure); Alba, 933 F.2d 1117 (2d Cir. 1991); U.S. v.
Bierley, 922 F.2d 1061 (3d Cir. 1990) (minimum role departure available even where defendant
sole actor in buying pornography from agent); U.S. v. Speenburgh, 990 F.2d 72, 75-76 (2d Cir.
1993) (where D ineligible for minor role reduction because other participant is government agent,
downward departure proper).




                                               - 50 -
65.    Small Profit In Stolen Bond Scheme.

        U.S. v. Stuart, 22 F.3d 76 (3d Cir. 1994) (although face value of bonds was $129,000
which determined offense level, the small profit actually made might warrant a downward
departure by analogy to §2F1.1 which states that strict application of the loss table can overstate
the seriousness of the offense).

66. No Profit or Motive or Financial Gain

        U.S. v. Rothberg, 222 F.Supp. 2d 1009 (N.D. Ill. 2002) (where there was no serious
claim that defendant committed the offense of copyright infringement ―out of a desire to profit,
or that he benefited financially from his participation in the conspiracy‖ and where the heartland
of cases contemplated offenses "motivated by a desire for financial gain--either personally or
commercially." case is an atypical one that falls outside the heartland of the Guideline to which
he is subject thus permitting a departure).

*67.   Vulnerability To Victimization Or Abuse In Prison.

        Koon v. U.S. , 518 U.S. 81 (1996) (no abuse of discretion to grant downward departure to
police officers convicted of civil rights violation because of vulnerability in prison); *U.S. v.
Parish, 308 F.3d 1025 (9th Cir. 2002) (eight level departure in child porn case in part because
defendant would have ―high susceptibility to abuse in prison‖ because of ―his demeanor, his
naiveté, and the nature of the offense‖ where psychiatrist testified defendant was in ―for a hard
time‖ in prison); U.S. v. Graham, 83 F.3d 1466, 1481 (D.C.Cir. 1996) (extreme vulnerability to
abuse in prison grounds for departure; case remanded to consider such); U.S. v. Long, 977 F.2d
1264, 1277-78 (8th Cir. 1992) (affirms downward departure from 46 months to one-year home
detention because four doctors wrote they D subject to victimization and potentially fatal injuries
in prison); U.S. v. Lara, 905 F.2d 599, 605 (2d Cir. 1990) (downward departure from 10 to 5
years upheld – "Congress did not limit sentencing courts to characteristic directly related to the
crime in determining which factors warrant a departure"--here defendant's youthful appearance
and bisexuality make him "particularly vulnerable to prison victimization" a factor "not
adequately considered by guidelines‖); U.S. v. Gonzalez, 945 F.2d 525 (2d Cir. 1991)
(downward departure affirmed where D had "feminine cast to his face" and "softness of features"
which would make him prey to long-term prisoners); Note: U.S.S.G. §5H1.4 makes ―physical
appearance, including physique‖ a discouraged factor; but Booker undercuts this.

District Court

       U.S. v. Ruff, 998 F.Supp. 1351 (M.D.Ala. 1998) (granting one level downward departure
and sentencing defendant to home detention where he broke into post office because slim,
effeminate, and gay – was assaulted previously in prison – cites law review articles); see
Marjorie Rifkin, Farmer v. Brennan: Spotlight on an Obvious Risk of Rape in a Hidden World,
26 Colum.Hum.Rts.L.Rev. 273, 276, 278, and n. 24 (1995) ("[B]rutal assault and homosexual


                                               - 51 -
rape are facts of daily life in men's prisons . . . Correctional administrators have long recognized
that prisoners likely to be victimized are overwhelmingly young first offenders of slight build
with passive, soft-spoken personalities."); Jeff Potts, American Penal Institutions and Two
Alternative Proposals for Punishment, 34 S.Tex.L.Rev. 443, 470-72 (1993) (citing statistics
concerning inmate-on-inmate sexual assault, noting effects of rape and the groups of inmates
who are more at risk for rape); U.S. v. Wilke, 995 F. Supp. 828 (N.D. Ill. 1998) (testimony by
prisoner-turned-professor persuades court that defendant‘s appearance and conviction of sex
offense involving juveniles (kiddy porn) subjects him to physical abuse in prison and warrants 4-
level departure); U.S. v. Blarek, 7 F.Supp.2d 192 (E.D.N.Y. 1998) (defendant‘s homosexuality
and need to be removed from general prison population for his safety – which amounts to
sentence of solitary confinement warrants departure – as well as his HIV status even if not yet
AIDS); U.S. v. Hammond, 37 F.Supp.2d 204 (E.D.N.Y. 1999) (defendant in drug case suffering
from advanced HIV entitled to a downward departure from 48 to 18 months where family will
suffer extraordinary financial and emotional hardship from his incarceration); U.S. v. Shasky,
939 F.Supp. 695 (D.Neb. 1996) (downward departure for receiving material via computer
involving pornographic images of minors, as case was outside "heartland" due to defendant's
unusual susceptibility to abuse in prison and defendant's extraordinary post-offense efforts at
rehabilitation; defendant was homosexual state trooper of diminutive stature and weight, and
director of internationally – renowned sex offender treatment program which defendant had
entered testified that his progress had been extraordinary).

68. Defendant Raped By Guard Pending Sentencing
        U.S. v. Rodriguez, 214 F.Supp.2d 1239 (M.D. Ala. 2002) (three level departure granted
to defendant under 5K2.0 who was raped by prison guard pending sentencing (in addition to five
levels for cooperation). Court noted that the rape was ―an extremely traumatic event‖ and that
―The court believes that the physical and mental trauma Rodriguez suffered was so
‗extraordinary‘ that it lifted her case out of the guideline heartland.‖ id., at 1241. A prison rape
was a type of mitigating circumstance that had not adequately been taken into consideration by
the Sentencing Commission when it formulated the Guidelines).
69. Defendant Shot by police during arrest
        U.S. v. Clough, 360 F.3d 967 (9th Cir. 2004 ) (district court has discretion to downward
depart in firearms case where he was shot by police during arrest because his ―significant
injuries‖ constitute a continuing form of punishment and factor not considered and not forbidden
 by the guidelines)

70. Defendant’s Subjected To Extraordinary Punishment Not Contemplated by
Guidelines.

        U.S. v. Clough, 360 F.3d 967 (9th Cir. 2004 ) (district court has discretion to downward
depart in firearms case where he was shot by police during arrest because his ―significant
injuries‖ constitute a continuing form of punishment and factor not considered and not forbidden
 by the guidelines)


                                               - 52 -
*71. Bureau of Prisons refuses to follow policy of honoring judicial recommendation to
place defendants in community treatment center.
        U.S. v. Serpa, 251 F.Supp.2d 988 (D.Mass. 2003) (where BOP no longer follow its long-
standing policy of honoring judicial recommendations to place defendants who fell within Zone
C of the Sentencing Table in CCCs for the imprisonment portions of their sentences, district
court grants downward departure to defendant who pled guilty to three counts of filing false
income tax returns and whose guideline sentencing range was 10 to 16 months before BOP
announced its policy to avoid any hint of an ex post facto violation in his sentence and because
not change not foreseeable)

72.    Solitary Confinement Or Harsh Nature Of Defendant’s Incarceration.

        U.S. v. Noriega, 40 F.Supp.2d 1378 (S.D.Fla. 1999) (judge reduces old-law sentence
from 40 to 30 years because of disparity of time served by codefendant and rats but primarily
because of nature of incarceration – ―There is little question that [segregated confinement] is a
more difficult type of confinement than in general population. For some, the consequences of
such deprivation can be serious.‖); see McClary v. Kelly, 4 F.Supp.2d. 195, 207 (W.D.N.Y.
1998) (―a conclusion however, that prolonged isolation from social and environmental
stimulation increases the risk of developing mental illness does not strike this court as rocket
science. Social science and clinical literature have consistently reported that when human beings
are subjected to social isolation and reduced environmental stimulation, they may deteriorate
mentally and in some cases develop psychiatric disturbances (citing cases).‖ See also, "The
Eighth Amendment and Psychological Implications of Solitary Confinement,‖ 21 Law and
Psychology Review, Spring 1997, p. 271; "Solitary Confinement, Legal and Psychological
Considerations," 15 New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement, 301, Summer
1989). See Pretrial Confinement Conditions at Paragraph 81 below.

73.    Defendant Subject To Abuse In Prison.

       U.S. v. Volpe, 78 F.Supp.2d 76, 89 (E.D.N.Y.1999) ("Volpe II") (Defendant entitled to
two-level departure because "[t]he extraordinary notoriety of this case and the degree of general
opprobrium toward Volpe . . . , coupled with [his] status as a police officer," left him "unusually
susceptible to abuse in prison" and D may have to spend most his time in segregation); U.S. v.
Bruder, 103 F.Supp.2d 155, 182 (E.D.N.Y. 2000) (same).

       74. Cultural Heritage and Sociological Factors.




                                              - 53 -
         U.S. v. Guzman 236 F.3d 830 (7th Cir. 2001) (concurring and dissenting) (majority
mistakenly reversed downward departure where defendant was more likely to participate in her
boyfriend's criminal activities because, as a Mexican woman, she was expected to submit to
boyfriend's will –: ―Because an individual's cultural heritage encompasses a set of beliefs and a
manner of behavior that exist conceptually and practically quite apart from that individual's
immutable sex, race or national origin…cultural heritage should not be considered a prohibited
basis for departure…nowhere in the guidelines does the term cultural heritage appear; it is thus
best categorized as what the Supreme Court has described as an unmentioned factor‖); U.S. v.
Decora, 177 F.3d 676 (8th Cir. 1999) (district judge, with almost 30 years on the bench and
knowledge of the adversities of life on Indian reservation, did not abuse discretion in departing
downward from 37-46 month sentencing range to probation for assault with a dangerous weapon,
by imposing probation for three years considering the difficulty of life on the reservation and the
extraordinary and unusual nature of defendant's educational record and community leadership,
and also the fact that while released defendant successfully completed an intensive inpatient
treatment program, participated in an alcohol after-care program following his treatment, and
attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings); U.S. v. Lipman, 133 F.3d 726 (9th Cir.1998) (in
illegal reentry case, district court has authority to downward depart on the ground that the
defendant had "culturally assimilated" into American society – but district court considered and
rejected the ground as a matter of discretion – even through D lived in U.S. for twenty years
since he was twelve, fathered many citizen children, etc.); U.S. v. Star, 9 F.3d 60 (8th Cir. 1993)
(ex-felon in possession – departure downward from 33 months to probation proper where
defendant no dangerous, possessed revolver in self-defense, had strong family ties, lived on
Indian reservation); U.S. v. Big Crow, 898 F.2d 1326, 1332 (8th Cir. 1990) (downward
departure warranted because of defendant's "consistent efforts to lead a decent life in a difficult
environment [Indian Reservation]"); U.S. v. Carbonell, 737 F. Supp. 186 (E.D.N.Y. 1990) (in
cocaine case where Hispanic defendant sought to help out a new immigrant, departure downward
from 41 to 12 months is warranted because of the defendant's "personal characteristics as
explained by a sociological phenomenon" that in "the cohesiveness of first generation immigrant
communities in the U.S. engenders loyalty, responsibility and obligation to others in the
community even if they are strangers"); see Olabisi, "Cultural Differences and Sentencing
Departures," 5 Fed. Sent. Reptr. 348-352 (1993) (arguing that departures are appropriate when a
defendant's culture would justify behavior contrary to U.S. law).

75.    Loss Of Business, Assets, And Source Of Income.

         U.S. v. Gaind, 829 F. Supp. 669 (S.D.N.Y. 1993) (the destruction of a defendant's only
business, involving testing material for the EPA, warranted a downward departure in false
statement case because elimination of the defendant's inability to engage in similar or related
activities and the substantial loss of assets and income were a source of individual and general
deterrence).

76.    The Defendant's Tragic Personal History.



                                              - 54 -
       U.S. v. Lopez, 938 F.2d 1293, 1297-99 (D.C.Cir. 1991) (where D received 51 months in
cocaine case, case remanded for district court to consider departure because D exposed to
domestic violence , the death of his mother by his stepfather murdering her, his need to leave
town because of threats, and his growing up in the slum areas of New York and of Puerto Rico ).

77.    Victim's Conduct Substantially Provoked The Offense Behavior.

        Caveat, for crimes committed after October 27, 2003, U.S.S.G. § 5K2.10 adds factor that
court must consider: the proportionality and reasonableness of the defendant’s response to the
victim’s provocation. Otherwise, see Koon v. U.S. , 518 U.S. 81, 100 (1996) (district court
acted within its discretion in departing downward five levels based on finding that suspect's
wrongful conduct contributed significantly to provoking officers' use of excessive force); U.S.
v. Harris, 293 F.3d 863 (5th Cir. 2002) (where police chief convicted of using excessive force
during course of arrest, district court did not abuse its discretion in depart downward based on
victim provoking offense behavior, but did abuse its discretion with respect to amount of
departure when it departed 85% percent from minimum sentence); U.S. v. Yellow Earrings, 891
F.2d 650, 918-919 (8th Cir. 1989) (victim's conduct of pushing defendant, verbally abusing her,
and attempting to publicly humiliate her when she refused his request for sexual intercourse,
warranted departure from 41 to 15 months); U.S. v. DeJesus, 75 F.Supp. 2d 141 (S.D.N.Y.
1999) (where D was ―warlord‖ for Bronx gang whose pregnant sister was punched by victim, and
where D and his gang planned assault retaliatory assault against victim, and where D pled guilty,
downward departure from offense level 15 to 11 warranted because victim‘s conduct was ―vile
and repugnant‖ and defendant‘s conduct in response was ―not incomprehensible.‖).

78.    Defendant Has Extraordinary Physical Impairment Or Bad Health and BOP may
not be able to provide adequate care.

        U.S.S.G. §5H1.4 makes ―physical appearance including physique‖ not ―ordinarily‖
relevant, but may be so in unusual cases. Booker strengthens arguments for this mitigating
factor and undermines restrictions of the guidelines. This departure is available even in
sex with minor cases and child porn cases. USSG § 5K2.22 (effective April 30, 2003). 5H1.4
provides that ―an extraordinary physical impairment may be a reason to impose a sentence below
the guideline range; e.g., in the case of a seriously infirm defendant, home detention may be as
efficient as, and less costly than, imprisonment.‖ See U.S. v. Martin, 363 F.3d 25, 50 (1st Cir.
2004) (in tax fraud case, three level downward departure proper (and possibly more on remand)
where ―several serious medical conditions make Martin's health exceptionally fragile [and] ...we
are not convinced that the BOP can adequately provide for Martin's medical needs during an
extended prison term [and] There is a high probability that lengthy incarceration will shorten
Martin's life span); See U.S. v. Gee, 226 F.3d 885 (7th Cir. 2000) (downward departure under
§5H1.4 based on health not abuse of discretion where judge reviewed 500 pages of medical
records and where judge concluded that ―imprisonment posed a substantial risk to [defendant‘s]
life,‖ BOP letter stating that it could take care of any medical problem ―was merely a form letter
trumpeting [BOP] capability‖); U.S. v. Johnson, 71 F.3d 539, 545 (6th Cir. 1995) (under


                                              - 55 -
U.S.S.G. §5H1.4, although ―rare,‖ downward departure possible for physician convicted of
distribution of drugs and mail fraud based on his medical condition where defendant was a
65-year-old man who suffered from diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroidism, ulcers, potassium
loss, and reactive depression, but specific findings required); U.S. v. Streat, 22 F.3d 109, 112-
13 (6th Cir. 1994) (remanded to district court observing that court has discretion to depart
because of defendant's "extraordinary physical impairment"); U.S. v. Long, 977 F.2d 1264,
1277-78 (8th Cir. 1992) (D's extreme vulnerability to victimization in prison justifies downward
departure where four doctors said so); U.S. v. Greenwood, 928 F.2d 645 (4th Cir. 1991) (where
D was felon who possessed firearm, departure to probation proper where D‘s had severe medical
impairment caused by loss of both his legs below his knee due to action in the Korean where D
required treatment at Veterans Administration hospital and that incarceration would jeopardize
such treatment); U.S. v. Lara, 905 F.2d 599, 605 (2d Cir. 1990) (same); U.S. v. Gonzalez, 945
F.2d 525 (2d Cir. 1991) (D's feminine cast and softness of features justifies downward departure
because he will be victimized in prison); U.S. v. Slater, 971 F.2d 626, 635 (10th Cir. 1992)
(mental retardation, scoliosis of spine and chronic pain may warrant departure under §5H1.4);
U.S. v. Greenwood, 928 F.2d 645, 646 (4th Cir. 1991) (loss of both legs in war, which required
ongoing treatment that would be jeopardized by incarceration, justified downward departure to
probation); but see U.S. v. Martinez-Guerrero, 987 F.2d 618, 620-21 (9th Cir. 1993) (departure
properly denied for legally blind defendant because prison could accommodate him).

District Court

        U.S. v. Willis, 322 F. Supp. 2d 76, (D. Mass. 2004) (in tax evasion case downward
departure granted to 69 year old from 27 months to probation with six months home confinement
based upon inordinate number of potentially serious medical conditions, and was at age where
such conditions would have invariably gotten worse in prison—in response to gov. argument that
BOP could care for defendant, court said ―I have never had a case before me in which the Bureau
of Prisons suggested that it did not have the capacity to care for a defendant‖); U.S. v. Jiminez,
212 F.Supp.2d 214 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (where D convicted of illegal reentry, downward departure
from range of 57-71 required because after crime was committed she has suffered brain aneurism
severe memory loss, and psychotic symptoms. court rejects position of gov. that departure
warranted only if physical ailment cannot be adequately treated by BOP.); U.S. v. Lacy, 99
F.Supp.2d 108 (D.Mass. 2000) (three-level downward departure warranted in drug case where D
has bullet in his brain causing lost partial hearing in his left ear, has blood clots in his arteries,
and experiences seizures); U.S. v. Hammond, 37 F.Supp.2d 204 (E.D.N.Y. 1999) (defendant in
drug case suffering from advanced HIV entitled to a downward departure from 48 to 18 months
where family will suffer extraordinary financial and emotional harsh from his incarceration);
U.S. v. Gigante, 989 F.Supp. 436 (E.D.N.Y. 1998) (despite vicious criminal past as Mafioso,
downward departure granted from 262 months to 144 months because of advanced age (69) and
bad heart); U.S. v. Blarek, 7 F.Supp.2d 192, 212-13 (E.D.N.Y.), aff'd, 166 F.3d 1202 (2d
Cir.1998); U.S. v. Baron, 914 F.Supp. 660, 662-665 (D.Mass. 1995) (in bankruptcy fraud,
downward departure from range of 27-33 months to probation and home detention to a 76-year
old defendant with medical problems which could be made worse by incarceration); see U.S. v.


                                                - 56 -
Moy, 1995 WL 311441, at *25-29, *34 (N.D.Ill. May 18, 1995) (downward departure based
upon defendant's advanced age, aggravated health condition, and emotionally depressed state);
U.S. v. Roth, 1995 WL 35676, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 30, 1995) (63-year-old defendant with
neuromuscular disease had "profound physical impairment" warranting downward departure
under the Guidelines); U.S. v. Velasquez, 762 F.Supp 39, 40 (E.D.N.Y. 1991) (life-threatening
cancer warranted downward departure); U.S. v. Patriarca, 912 F.Supp. 596, 629 (D.Mass.
1995) (same).

       Tip: Infirmity or disability should be combined with defendant's advanced age, if
possible. See Para 18, supra.

79.    Military Service-Extraordinary.

        Note U.S.S.G. §5H1.1 ("military, civic, charitable . . . and similar prior good works [not]
ordinarily" relevant to departures). This restriction questionable in light of Booker. Even
pre-Booker, courts could downward depart for extraordinary military service. U.S. v. Pipich,
688 F. Supp. 191 (D.Md. 1988) (where D convicted of mail theft extraordinary military record
warrants departure to probation. Defendant was in Marines from 1968 to and served in combat in
Vietnam for one year He received over 45 awards of the Air Medal, including one special award
for heroism in connection with the extraction of a reconnaissance team that was surrounded by
North Vietnamese forces. The defendant was awarded the Purple Heart twice. He was also the
recipient of several Vietnamese awards); U.S. v. McCaleb, 908 F.2d 176 (7th Cir. 1990)
(departure for military service might be warranted under some circumstances, but not here); U.S.
 v. Neil, 903 F.2d 564, 566 (8th Cir. 1990) (military service might warrant departure in some
cases, but not here). In U.S. v. Claudio, CR. No. 9244 (D.Ore. October 4, 1993), Judge Owen
Panner departed downward from because of the defendant's "extraordinary" military service.
Similarly, in U.S. v. Leigh, Cr 91-96-FR (D.Ore.), Judge Helen Frye granted a substantial
downward departure in a bank robbery case based in part on prior military service.

80.    Delay In Sentencing Which Deprives Defendant Of Chance For Concurrent
       Sentence Justifies Downward Departure.

        U.S. v. Sanchez-Rodriguez, 161 F.3d 556 (9th Cir. 1998) (en banc) (district court acted
within its discretion when it departed downward in an illegal reentry case by nine levels and
imposed 30-month term in part because the delay in bringing the federal charge prejudiced the
defendant's opportunity to obtain a sentence concurrent to the state sentence he was already
serving and in part because D stipulated to deportation).




                                              - 57 -
81.    Pre-Indictment Delay Prejudicing Defendant.

         U.S. v. Corneille, 171 F.3d 748, 754 (2d Cir. 1999) (among other things, four-year
preindictment delay in perjury prosecution warranted one-level departure); U.S. v.
Sanchez-Rodriguez, 161 F.3d 556, 563-64 (9th Cir. 1998) (en banc) (district court acted within
its discretion when it departed in illegal reentry case by 3 levels from 77 to 30 in part because the
delay in bringing the federal charge prejudiced the defendant's opportunity to obtain a concurrent
sentence); U.S. v. O'Hagan, 139 F.3d 641, 656-58 (8th Cir. 1998) (affirming downward
departure for delay in prosecution); U.S. v. Saldana, 109 F.3d 100, 104 (1st Cir.1997) (departure
appropriate for preindictment delay, even if unintentional, if it produces an unfair or unusual
sentencing result); U.S. v. Martinez, 77 F.3d 332, 336-37 (9th Cir.1996) (where D pleads guilty
to trafficking in stolen goods and gets 8 months, and later gov. re-indicts D for stealing the
goods, D lost benefit of "multiple count" rule, did not get good time credits for the 8-month
sentence, would have two separate convictions which might cause harsher sentence in future, and
where D could be impeached with original conviction, court can grant downward departure);
U.S. v. Blackwell, 49 F.3d 1232, 1241-42 (7th Cir.1995) (authorizing downward departure to
achieve the effect of concurrency with a fully discharged sentence); U.S. v. Medrano, 89 F.
Supp.2d 310 (E.D.N.Y. 2000) (four-year delay in brining prosecution for illegal re-entry while D
serving state time justifies departure because lost opportunity for concurrent sentence-remanded
to determine sentence); U.S. v. Garcia, 165 F.Supp.2d 496 (S.D.N.Y.2001) (where D served 9-
month sentence for passport fraud before charged with illegal reentry even though could have
been charged immediately, D should be sentenced as though he were being sentenced at the same
time as he was sentenced on the passport fraud so court departs from 57-71 month guideline to
35 months. Reduction reflects correction for additional criminal history points incurred because
of passport fraud and 9 months client already served).

82.    Imperfect Entrapment – Aggressive Encouragement By Agents.

       Even though the defendant was not entrapped in a legal sense, court appropriately
departed downward under §5K2.12 where trial court was troubled by "aggressive encouragement
of wrongdoing [by informer], "prosecutorial misconduct and vindictive prosecution.‖ U.S. v.
Garza-Juarez, 992 F.2d 896, 910-912 & n. 2 (9th Cir. 1993); see U.S. v. McClelland, 72 F.3d
717 (9th Cir. 1995) (district court properly departs downward 6 levels for imperfect entrapment
under §5K2.12 even though D initiated plan).

*83.   Sentencing Entrapment.

          See U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1, comment. (nn.12, 15); U.S. v. Searcy, 233 F.3d 1096, 1099 (8th
Cir. 2000) (remands to see if D was entrapped for sentencing purposes–―Application Note 12
states, in relevant part: ‗If, however, the defendant establishes that he or she did not intend to
provide, or was not reasonably capable of providing, the agreed-upon quantity of the controlled
substance, the court shall exclude from the offense level determination the amount of controlled
substance that the defendant establishes that he or she did not intend to provide or was not

                                               - 58 -
reasonably capable of providing.‘‖–―the Sentencing Guidelines focus the sentencing entrapment
analysis on the defendant's predisposition‖); U.S. v. Castaneda, 94 F.3d 592 (9th Cir. 1996)
(district court erred in not considering whether to reduce amount of drugs attributed to D because
he was entrapped); U.S. v. Staufer, 38 F.3d 1103 (9th Cir. 1994) (district court has authority to
depart downward where defendant was encouraged by agents to furnish 10,000 doses of LSD,
more drugs than defendant was predisposed to deliver (5,000 doses)); U.S. v. Naranjo, 52 F.3d
245, 25-51 (9th Cir. 1995) (where evidence indicated D agreed to buy cocaine only after months
of persistent pressure by rat and where D could afford to buy and preferred to buy only one
kilogram but finally agreed to by the five only after agent offered to front the four of the five and
said he would buy back three, case remanded with instructions to provide specific factual
findings to support district court's ruling that D did not prove sentencing entrapment); see U.S.
v. Parrilla, 114 F.3d 124, 127-128 (9th Cir. 1997) (if D proves he was entrapped into carrying
gun, downward departure warranted); U.S. v. Ramirez-Rangel, 103 F.3d 1501 (9th Cir. 1997) (D
entrapped into receiving machine guns carrying 30-year sentence when guns delivered to him in
bag and where he spoke no English); U.S. v. Searcy, 233 F.3d 1096, 1099 (8th Cir.2000)
(sentencing entrapment viable ground for downward departure–―This case demonstrates that the
Sentencing Guidelines have a "terrifying capacity for escalation of a defendant's sentence" as a
result of government misconduct‖); U.S. v. Montoya, 62 F.3d 1, 3-4 (1st Cir.1995) (same).

District Court

         U.S. v. Panduro, 152 F.Supp.2d 398 (S.D.N.Y. 2001) (in reverse sting operation,
defendant granted three-level downward departure under App. Note 15 ―to adjust for the
artificially low price of the [35 kilos] of cocaine resulting from the overly generous credit terms
[proposed by the government] – ―if [the agent] had not extended credit for half the purchase
price...defendants [would have only purchased half the amount‖ the extension of credit was
―unreasonable and below market‖); U.S. v. Martinez-Villegas, 993 F.Supp. 766 (C.D.Cal. 1998)
(where D who normally delivered 5-10 kilogram quantities was induced to deliver 92 kilogram
quantities, departure warranted.)

       Note: U.S.S.G. §2D1.1, Appl. n. 15( "in a reverse sting operation" if the court finds that
the government agents "set a price for he controlled substance that was substantially below the
market value there by leading to the defendant purchase of a significantly greater quantity [than
otherwise] a downward departure may be warranted‖). See also App. Note 12.

*84.   Duress Or Coercion.

See U.S.S.G. §5K2.12; U.S. v. Ramos-Oseguera, 120 F.3d 1028 (9th Cir. 1997) (remanded
because not clear that trial judge understood that coercion or duress is a separate ground for
downward departure under §5K2.12. The duress policy statement allows that "[i]f the defendant
committed the offense because of serious coercion . . . or duress, under circumstances not
amounting to a complete defense, the court may decrease the sentence." "[I]t has been held that
the injury threatened need not be imminent" in order to apply this departure); overruled on other


                                               - 59 -
grounds, U.S. v. Nordby, 225 F.3d 1053 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc); U.S. v. Johnson, 956 F.2d
894, 901 (9th Cir. 1992) (downward departure warranted when defendant battered although
duress did not constitute full defense); U.S. v. Apple, 915 F.2d 899, 903 n.12 (4th Cir. 1990)
(downward departure warranted when court found that defendant was battered wife who suffered
from chronic depression); U.S. v. Cheape, 889 F.2d 477 (3d Cir. 1989) (court had authority to
impose sentence below guideline range on defendant convicted of bank robbery and bank
robbery by use of dangerous weapon, on grounds that she had been coerced to participate, even
though jury had rejected coercion defense in finding her guilty; and the guidelines do not require
proof of immediacy inability to escape, or limit the feared injury to bodily injury); U.S. v. Hall,
71 F.3d 569 (6th Cir. 1995) (remanded to consider coercion by husband based on ―overwhelming
evidence that criminal actions resulted least in part from the coercion and control exercised by
her husband‖); U.S. v. Amor, 24 F.3d 432, 438-39 (2d Cir. 1994) (downward departure
warranted when defendant committed firearms offense one day after his car shot up, he was
personally threatened, and feared potential violence by union in impending shrike); U.S. v.
Amparo, 961 F.2d 288, 292 (1st Cir. 1992) (downward departure warranted when defendant, in
response to threats by smuggler, agreed to traffic cocaine strapped to her corset, even if jury
rejected duress defense); U.S. v. Meyers, 952 F.2d 914, 920 (6th Cir. 1992) (downward
departure warranted if sentencing court found defendant committed offense under serious
coercion although not full defense); U.S. v. Garza-Juarez, 992 F.2d 896, 910-912 (9th Cir. 1993)
("aggressive encouragement of wrongdoing [by informer]" warrants departure);



District Court

U.S. v. Jurado-Lopez, 338 F.Supp.2d 246 (D. Mass. 2004) (where Guatemalan woman, whose
husband and parents had been shot, was locked in room by drug lords and forced to swallow 23
pellets containing 250 grams of heroin, departure from level 25 to level 13 granted) [seems like
plotline of the movie, ―Maria, Full of Grace‖]; U.S. v. Isom, 992 F.2d 91 (6th Cir. 1993)
(district court can depart downward for coercion); U.S. v. Delgado, 994 F.Supp. 143 (E.D.N.Y.
1998) (three-level downward departure to first-time offender, drug courier based on coercion
from a creditor and combination of aberrant behavior, defendant‘s fragility, and his exceptionally
difficult life); U.S. v. Gaviria, 804 F.Supp. 476 (E.D.N.Y. 1992) (downward departure justified
based on defendant being subservient to husband (battered woman); U.S. v. Nava-Sotelo, 232
F.Supp. 2d 1269 (D.N.M. 1269) (D convicted of kidnapping and assault in attempt to help
brother escape from lengthy sentence granted downward departure in part because he had been
manipulated by his older brother into participating in the escape attempt when he had threatened
to commit suicide if he had to stay in prison for his full 22-year prison sentence ―amounted to
incomplete duress‖ within the meaning of U.S.S.G. § 5K2.12).




       .

                                              - 60 -
85.    Sentence Erroneously Served.

      District court can depart downward by up to six months to take into account defendant's
home detention erroneously served. U.S. v. Miller, 991 F.2d 552, 554 (9th Cir. 1993).

86.    Disparity In Sentencing.

        Argument strengthened by Booker. U.S. v. Tzoc-Sierra, 387 F.3d 978 (9th Cir. 2004)
 (in drug case affirmed district court‘s downward departure from range of 46-47 months to 36
months on basis of disparity of sentence received by codefendants); U.S. v. Caperna, 251 F.3d
827 (9th Cir. 2001) (where D a small cog in large drug conspiracy, district court‘s downward
departure to 36 months because of disparity in sentence of co-D vacated, but on remand district
court has discretion to depart downward because of disparity in sentence with other codefendant
as long as codefendant convicted of same crime); U.S. v. Daas, 198 F.3d 1167 (9th Cir. 1999)
(defendant argued for departure based on disparity between his sentence and that of co-
defendants turned rats, but judge said not legal ground. Reversed. ―Downward departure to
equalize sentencing disparity is a proper ground for departure under the appropriate
circumstances . . . Indeed, a central goal of the Sentencing Guidelines is to eliminate sentencing
disparity . . . Here, the record indicates that the district court believed incorrectly that it lacked
the authority to depart downward based on sentencing disparity. Because the district court
actually had this authority but mistakenly failed to exercise it to determine whether the facts here
warranted departure, this court remands for findings as to whether a downward departure is
appropriate.‖); U.S. v. Meza, 127 F.3d 545 (7th Cir. 1997) (an unjustified disparity, one that
does not result from the proper application of he guidelines, ―is potentially a sentencing factor to
consider‖ because the goal of the guidelines is of course ―to reduce unjustified departures.‖);
U.S. v. Boshell, 952 F.2d 1101, 1106-09 (9th Cir. 1991) (downward departure from 27 to 12
years upheld on ground that guideline sentence was disproportionately long compared to the 5 to
6-year sentences impose on codefendant who had been sentenced after the Ninth Circuit held the
guidelines unconstitutional but before they were upheld by the Supreme Court); U.S. v. Ray, 920
F.2d 562 (9th cir. 1990), amended, 930 F.2d 1368, 1372-73 (9th Cir. 1991) ("disparity was said
to be one of the most important evils the guidelines were intended to cure"); but see U.S. v.
Kohl, 972 F.2d 294 (9th Cir. 1992).

District Court

        United States v. Galvez-Barrios, ___ F. Supp. 2d ___, 2005 WL 323703 (E.D. Wis.
Feb. 2,2005) (Adelman, J.) (post Booker, in illegal reentry case where Guideline range was 41-51
months, court imposes 24 months in part because of unwarranted disparity in sentences among §
1326 defendants in border areas); United States v. Huerta-Rodriguez, ___ F. Supp. 2d ____,
2005 WL 318640, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1398 (D. Neb. Feb. 1, 2005) (Bataillon, J.) (post
Booker, in illegal reentry case, where guideline range was 70-87 months (57-70months after
government concession), imposing sentence of 36 months in part because criminal history
overrepresented and because ―in other districts a similar defendant would not be prosecuted for


                                               - 61 -
illegal reentry, but would simply be deported‖); U.S. v. Maccaul, 2002 WL 31426006
(S.D.N.Y. Oct. 28, 2002) (unpublished) (in stock manipulation scheme by brokers, defendant
granted downward departure, because ―it is virtually impossible to justify imprisoning the
defendants before this Court for up to five times as long as the [codefendant] who hired, inspired,
and gravely misled them‖ and because ―the loss provision…does not make sense when up to 250
people are participating [in the fraudulent scheme], and the loss is difficult if not impossible to
apportion fairly.‖); U.S. v. Clark, 79 F.Supp.2d 1066 (N.D.Iowa 1999) (unlike all districts, U.S.
 attorney here does not give cooperating witnesses protection for incriminating statement under
U.S.S.G. §1B1.8, so departure granted from 36 to 28 where eight levels were due to drugs he
admitted to in his debriefing); U.S. v. Noriega, 40 F.Supp.2d 1378 (S.D.Fla. 1999) (judge
reduces old-law sentence from 40 to 30 years because of disparity of time served by codefendant
and rats but primarily because of nature of incarceration);

87.    Disparity In Plea-Bargaining Policies Between Districts.

         United States v. Galvez-Barrios, ___ F. Supp. 2d ___, 2005 WL 323703 (E.D. Wis.
Feb. 2,2005) (Adelman, J.) (post Booker, in illegal reentry case where Guideline range was 41-51
months, court imposes 24 months in part because of unwarranted disparity in sentences among §
1326 defendants in border areas); United States v. Huerta-Rodriguez, ___ F. Supp. 2d ____,
2005 WL 318640, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1398 (D. Neb. Feb. 1, 2005) (Bataillon, J.) (post
Booker, in illegal reentry case, where guideline range was 70-87 months (57-70months after
government concession), imposing sentence of 36 months in part because criminal history
overrepresented and because ―in other districts a similar defendant would not be prosecuted for
illegal reentry, but would simply be deported‖); U.S. v. Clark, 79 F.Supp.2d 1066 (N.D.Iowa
1999) (unlike all other districts, U.S. attorney here does not give cooperating witnesses
protection for incriminating statement under U.S.S.G. §1B1.8, so departure granted from 36 to
28 where extra levels were due to drugs he admitted to in his debriefing). A sentencing disparity
for a Section 1326 violation that arises from different plea-bargaining policies of U.S. Attorneys
in California‘s Central and Southern Districts (where latter has 24-month fast track policy)
cannot be a valid basis for departure, so defendant‘s 70-month sentence is vacated and
remanded. U.S. v. Banuelos-Rodriguez, 215 F.3d 969 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). [Can still be
mitigating factor under Booker]

88.    Government Responsible For Criminal Behavior.

        Downward departure warranted in escape case where government was irresponsible in
releasing known alcoholic on furlough without making some effort to assist her. U.S. v.
Whitehorse, 909 F.2d 316 (8th Cir. 1990).

89.    Dual Prosecution By State And Federal Governments.

       Dual prosecution by both federal and state governments is a circumstance of a kind not
considered by the guidelines, but case remanded to determine whether departure should be


                                              - 62 -
upward or downward. U.S. v. Haggerty, 4 F.3d 901 (10th Cir. 1993); U.S. v. Koon, 833 F.
Supp. 769, 786 (C.D.Cal. 1993) (specter of unfairness raised by successive state and federal
prosecutions, inter alia, justifies downward departure), aff‘d on this ground, Koon v. U.S. , 518
U.S. 81 (1996).

90.    Breach Of Plea Bargain On Substantial Assistance.

       Where government breached ambiguous plea agreement to recommend minimum
sentence based on defendant substantial assistance, court construe this a 5K motion and depart
below statutory minimum. U.S. v. De la Fuente, 8 F.3d 1333 (9th Cir. 1993).

91.    Government Misconduct In Contacting D Without Notice To Counsel And D's
       Cooperation.

        District court authorized to grant downward departure for substantial assistance even
though no government motion where government committed misconduct in bringing D before
grand jury without notifying counsel and where D testified truthfully, even though government
did not need testimony. U.S. v. Treleaven, 35 F.3d 458 (9th Cir. 1994).

92.    Civil Forfeiture.

        Civil forfeiture of property alone does not constitute grounds for a downward departure;
but taken in combination with other specific offender characteristics such as an extraordinary
imposition on family ties and responsibilities, and community ties under §5H1.6 might. See U.S.
 v. Crook, 9 F.3d 1422, n. 7. (9th Cir. 1993) [Note: This holding is subject to attack in light of
Koon. Note further that voluntary forfeiture of property where defendant foregoes meritorious
defenses may show extraordinary acceptance of responsibly which could warrant a departure.
U.S. v. Faulks, 143 F.3d 133, 138 (3d Cir. 1998). Finally, forfeiture is a mitigating factor
under Booker.

93.    Punishment For Acquitted Conduct.

        U.S. v. Monk, 15 F.3d 25, 28-29 (2d Cir. 1994) (where D is acquitted by jury of
distribution and convicted of lesser included of possession, court has power to depart because
relevant conduct requires an extraordinary increase in sentence by reason of conduct for which D
acquitted); U.S. v. Concepcion, 983 F.2d 369, 385-89 (2d Cir. 1992). U.S. v. Koczuk, 166
F.Supp. 2d 757 (ED.N.Y. 2001) (Where D acquitted of five counts but convicted of single count
of importing caviar with market value less than $100,000, but where co-D convicted of six
counts of importing $11million dollars worth, offense level ―has been extraordinarily magnified
by a circumstance that bears little relation to defendant‘s role in the offense‖ – here D‘s role in
conspiracy ―bore little correlation to 11 million dollars because D ―was not actively involved in
co-D business was ―merely a low level employee – chauffeur and interpreter – who ―took orders
from cod‖4 level minimal role reduction simply not adequate);


                                              - 63 -
 *94. Credit For Time Served On State Case Whether Related Or Not


         U..S. v. Pray, 373 F.3d 358 (3rd Cir. 2004) (where D served 4 months state time for drug
offense and later convicted on related federal drug offense district court may depart downward on
federal sentence to credit defendant with state time--which was completed (and therefore not
―undischarged‖ in accordance with §5G1.3) and where defendant was on state parole at the time
federal authorities brought charges which charges were considered relevant conduct to his state
charges. District Court could not ―credit‖ defendant in his federal case with the time he served in
his state case, in accordance with §5G1.3, but could accomplish the same result
through a departure.); U.S. v. White, 354 F.3d 841 (9th Cir. 2004) (where D spent 10 months in
state custody until his trial for attempted murder and was acquitted, and then prosecuted in
federal court for felon in possession, sentencing remanded for district court to determine whether
to depart where district court erroneously believed only BOP could give defendant credit for the
10 months already served because departure authorized under 5G1.3 App. note 7); Ruggiano v.
Reish, 307 F.3d 121 (3rd Cir. 2002) (district court has authority under U.S.S.G. § 5G1.3 to adjust
a federal sentence for time served (14 months) on a state sentence, in a way that is binding on the
Bureau of Prisons--whether called a ―departure‖ a ―credit‖ or an ―adjustment.‖ While the BOP
has the sole authority to grant sentencing credits for time served in detention for the offense for
which the defendant is ultimately sentenced, under 5G1.3(c), an adjustment or departure for time
served on a preexisting, unrelated state sentence is within the exclusive power of the sentencing
court –so BOP ordered to credit defendant with 14 months he served on state sentence—as
district court had ordered); U.S. v. Sanchez-Rodriguez, 161 F.3d 556 , 563-64 (9th Cir. 1998)
(en banc) (the district court acted within its discretion when it departed downward in an illegal
reentry case by 3 levels from 77 to 30 because the delay in bringing the federal charge prejudiced
the defendant's opportunity to obtain a sentence concurrent to the state sentence he was already
serving); U.S. v. Gonzalez, 192 F.3d 350 (2d Cir. 1999) (although federal court may not order
that federal sentence begin when D was arrested by state for same conduct underlying federal
offense, because BOP determines credit, federal judge may accomplish same end by departing
downward in federal sentence. ―The proper way to ensure that Gonzalez served a total of 156
months would have been for the court to increase the downward departure it granted him and
sentence him to 129 months.‖); U.S. v. Otto 176 F.3d 416, 418 (8th Cir. 1999); U.S. v.
O‘Hagan, 139 F.3d 641 (8th Cir. 1998) (district judge has authority, under §5K2.0, to make a
downward departure from guidelines to take into account an expired state term of imprisonment
that was based on conduct ―inextricably intertwined‖ with the federal offense because
Commission did not adequately consider the issue. Section 5G1.3 addresses only credit only for
―undischarged‖ terms of imprisonment); U.S. v. Blackwell, 49 F.3d 1232, 1241-42 (7th
Cir.1995) (authorizing downward departure to achieve the effect of concurrency with a fully
discharged sentence); U.S. v. Kiefer, 20 F.3d 874 (8th Cir. 1994) (in ACC case, court can grant
downward departure below the 15-year minimum to ensure that D gets credit for time served in
state where the gun in the ACC case was used in an underlying state crime. Time runs
concurrent from date of the arrest on the state charge); U.S. v. Drake, 49 F.3d 1438 (9th Cir.


                                              - 64 -
1995) (where state robbery had been fully taken into account in determining the offense level for
the federal firearms offense (felon in possession), the district court is required to reduce
defendant's mandatory minimum sentence for time served in state prison. Notwithstanding
Wilson, court can impose guideline provision §5G1.3(b) to reduce sentence in order not to
frustrate the concurrent sentencing principles mandated by other statute); U.S. v. Rosado, 254
F.Supp. 2d 316 (SDNY 2003) (where D convicted of distributing heroin, and where D served 7
months in state custody on conviction that was relevant conduct in the federal sentence, D
granted 7 month downward departure to account of state time already served).
[Practice Tip: BOP problems (and habeas litigation) can be avoided if you convince the district
court, at the time of sentencing, to reduce the federal sentence to account for the state time at
issue].

95.    Credit For Time Defendant In Federal Custody After Grant Of State Parole That
       Would Be Dead Time And Count Only Against State Sentence.

        U.S. v. Anderson, 98 F.Supp.2d 643 (E.D.Pa. 2000) (defendant entitled to a downward
departure reflecting the time he spent in federal custody following the grant of parole in state
case since, in the absence of a departure, defendant would be subjected to an additional seven
months on a state sentence that was, in all but the most technical sense, complete, without
receiving any credit towards his federal sentence).

96.    Harshness of Pretrial or Presentence Confinement

        U.S. v. Pressley, 345 F.3d 1205 (11th Cir. 2003) (where defendant spent six years in
presentence confinement, of which five years were in 23-hour a day lockdown and where he had
not been outside in five years, district court erred in holding that departure not available); U.S. v.
Carty, 263 F.3d 191 (2nd Cir. 2001) (defendant‘s pre-sentence confinement in Dominican
Republic where conditions were bad may be a permissible basis for downward departures from
sentencing guidelines).

       District Court




                                                - 65 -
          U.S. v. Mateo, 299 F.Supp.2d 201 (S.D.N.Y. 2004) (Presentence sexual abuse by
prison guard and lack of proper medical attention for over 15 hours while defendant was in labor
warranted downward departure in sentence for conspiring to distribute heroin); U.S. v.
Rodriguez, 214 F.Supp. 2d 1239 (M.D. Ala. 2002) (two level downward departure (in addition to
other departures) in drug case under 5K2.0 because defendant raped by prison guard pending
sentence-- ―A rape in prison, by a prison guard, while awaiting sentencing on this case, is
obviously a highly unusual situation....to fail to take this rape into account in Rodriguez's
sentence would mete out a disproportionate punishment to her, thus thwarting the Sentencing
Guidelines' express goal of equalizing sentences.‖); U.S. v. Francis, 129 F.Supp.2d 612, 616
(S.D.N.Y. 2001) (in illegal reentry case, court departs downward one level because d‘s 13 month
pretrial confinement in county facility (HCCC) where D was subjected to extraordinary stress
and fear, parts of the facility were virtually controlled by gangs and inmates, D was the victim of
an attempted attack and threats, suffered significant weight loss, stress, insomnia, depression, and
fear as a result, and HCCC was operating at 150% capacity . . . --qualitatively different
conditions than those of pre-sentence detainees in federal facilities operated by the Bureau of
Prisons.); U.S. v. Bakeas, 987 F.Supp. 44, 50 (D. Mass. 1997) ( "[A] downward departure is
called for when, as here, an unusual factor makes the conditions of confinement contemplated by
the guidelines either impossible to impose or inappropriate.").


97. Lengthy Pretrial Confinement Adverse Effect On Defense Preparation

        U.S. v. Joyeros, 204 F.Supp.2d 412 (EDNY 2002) (where defendant pled to money
laundering, court departed downward two levels where defendant's livelihood was destroyed,
preventing her re-entry into criminal activity, she was subjected to lengthy and rigorous pretrial
detention, and defendant was repeatedly denied bail, preventing defendant from effectively
preparing her defense or seeing her child)




                                               - 66 -
*98.   Alien Who Faces More Severe Restrictions In Prison Than Non-Alien.

       Argue that the defendants‘ status as deportable aliens unnecessarily places them in a more
       restrictive status of confinement, and denies them access to BOP's drug treatment, early
       release, and community confinement programs that are otherwise available to the general
       prison population. See U.S. v. Davoudi, 172 F.3d 1130 (9th Cir.1999) (where D
       convicted of making false statements to bank, district court had discretion to depart
       downward because deportable alien may be unable to take advantage of minimum
       security designation of the up to six months of home confinement authorized by 18
       U.S.C. §3624(c), but court‘s discretionary failure to do so not review able); U.S. v.
       Charry Cubillos, 91 F.3d 1342, 1344 (9th Cir.1996)(same); U.S. v. Farouil, 124 F.3d 838
       (7th Cir. 1997) (where D charged with importing heroin, district court may consider
       whether defendant status as a deportable alien would result in unusual or exceptional
       hardship in conditions of confinement that might warrant a departure (ineligible for home
       detention, community confinement, work release, intermittent incarceration, or minimum
       security designation. ); U.S. v. Bakeas, 987 F.Supp. 44 (D. Mass. 1997) (departure from
       12 months to probationary sentence and home confinement for legal resident alien
       convicted of embezzlement because he was ineligible for minimum security
       confinement); U.S. v. Smith, 27 F.3d 649 (D.C.Cir.1994) (D's status as a deportable alien
       subjects him to harsher confinement because ineligible for benefits of early release (to
       CTC) and not eligible for minimum security prison; so court has authority to consider
       downward departure); contra, U.S. v. Alvarez-Cardenas, 902 F.2d 734 (9th Cir. 1990);
       U.S. v. Restrepo, 999 F.2d 640 (2d Cir. 1993), reversing, 802 F.Supp. 781 (E.D.N.Y.
       1992). Under Booker an arguable mitigating factor.

       Note: Also argue that a deportable alien is not eligible for one-year reduction of sentence
awarded those who complete the BOP‘s 500-hour drug program. McClean v. Crabtree, 173 F.3d
1176 (9th Cir. 1999).

       Note: Departure on this ground not available if D pled guilty to illegal entry. See, e.g.,
U.S. v. Martinez- Ramos, 184 F.3d 1055 (9th Cir. 1999); U.S. v. Cardosa-Rodriguez, 241 F.3d
613 (8th Cir. 2001). [Now still mitigating factor under Booker]

99.    Alien Who Will Be Deported Because Of Guilty Plea Punished Too Severely.

         Deportation is not grounds for departure. U.S. v. Alvarez-Cardenas, 902 F.2d 734 (9th
Cir. 1990). Questionable now in light of Koon. Argue that factor was not considered by
guidelines (in non-immigration case); therefore departure justified where defendant‘s guilty plea
results in deportation. See Jordan v. De George, 341 U.S. 223, 232 (1951) (Jackson, J.)
(deportation is ―a life sentence of banishment in addition to the punishment which a citizen
would suffer from the identical acts.‖).




                                              - 67 -
100.   Alien Who Reentered Illegally For Good Motive Or To Prevent Perceived Greater
       Harm .

       U.S. v. Alba, (unpublished), No. 01-2510, 2002 WL 522819 (3d Cir. April 8, 2002)
(where defendant illegally reentered country to visit his 16 year old son, five level downward
departure proper); U.S. v. Barajas-Nunez, 91 F.3d 826 (6th Cir. 1996) (not plain error to depart
under lesser harms provisions of §5K2.11 where defendant had illegally reentered country after
having been deported when he believed his girlfriend was in grave danger of physical harm and
wanted to obtain surgery for her, but remanded to explain extent of departure); U.S. v. Singh,
224 F.Supp.2d 962 (E.D.Pa. 2002) (where defendant illegally reentered in order to visit his dying
mother and only intended to stay in country one week –as evidenced by airline ticket—departure
from 37 months to 21 months proper).

101.   Alien Who Consents To Deportation.

        District Court may grant downward departure where D consents to deportation even if
government objects. U.S. v. Rodriguez-Lopez, 198 F.3d 773, 776 n 1 (9th Cir. 1999).
Arguably, however, departure is available only he if he has colorable, non-frivolous defense to
deportation, an issue not reached in Rodriguez because the government did not raise the issue
below. Cf., U.S. v. Galvez-Falconi, 174 F.3d 255 (2d Cir. 1999) (Defendant seeking a
downward departure from Sentencing Guidelines for consenting to deportation must present
colorable, nonfrivolous defense to deportation, such that act of consenting to deportation carries
with it unusual assistance to administration of justice; in the absence of such a showing, act of
consenting to deportation, alone, would not be circumstance that distinguishes case as
sufficiently atypical to warrant downward departure); U.S. v. Clase-Espinal, 115 F.3d 1054, 61
(1st Cir. 1997) (same); see U.S. v. Cruz-Ochoa, 85 F.3d 325 (8th Cir.1996) (District court can
depart downward on basis of defendant‘s waiver and consent to administrative deportation upon
filing of joint motion by the parties for a two-level downward departure at sentencing on plea of
guilty to illegal reentry).

102.   Alien Who Illegally Reenters And Whose Only Prior Aggravated Felony Is Not
       Serious.

        United States v. Lopez-Zamora , 392 F.3d 1087 (9th Cir. 2004) ( even for illegal reentry
after November 1, 2001 (when USSG 2L1.2 was amended) district court may grant downward
departure where underlying felony conviction was minor—but no abuse of discretion here); U.S.
 v. Sanchez-Rodriguez, 161 F.3d 556) (9th Cir. 1998) (en banc) (district court acted within its
discretion when it departed downward in an illegal re-entry case by 3 levels from 77 to 30
months on the grounds (1) that the prior aggravated conviction was only a $20 heroin sale; and
(2) that the delay in bringing the federal charge prejudiced the defendant's opportunity to obtain a
sentence concurrent to the state sentence he was already serving); U.S. v. Castillo-Casiano, 198
F.3d 787 (9th Cir. 1999) (district court‘s failure to consider nature of prior felony plain error);
amended, 204 F.3d 1257 (9th Cir. 2000); U.S. v. Cruz-Guevara, 209 F.3d 644 (7th Cir. 2000)


                                               - 68 -
(D's only prior felony conviction was for "aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor," a
consensual sex act between D (age 18) and his girlfriend (age 16). He was sentenced to 116
days. The district court granted a 10-level downward departure under Note 5 and the government
appealed. The Seventh Circuit disagreed with the government's argument that the extent of the
departure was patently unreasonable. The court made a strong argument for the departure under
Note 5, but remanded for the district court to link the degree of the departure to the structure of
the guidelines); U.S. v. Diaz-Diaz, 135 F.3d 572 (8th Cir. 1998) (court upheld downward
departure from 63 to 10 months because 16-level adjustment overstated the seriousness of prior
which involved sale of 8.3 grams of marijuana for which D received 22 days jail).

District Court

United States v. Huerta-Rodriguez, ___ F. Supp. 2d ____, 2005 WL 318640, 2005 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 1398 (D. Neb. Feb. 1, 2005) (Bataillon, J.) (post Booker, where guideline range was 70-
87 months court imposed 36 months in part because court would have granted downward
departure for over-representation of criminal history in that prior occurred nearly ten years ago);
U.S. v. Marcos-Lopez, 2000 WL 744131 (S.D.N.Y. June 9, 2000) (unpublished) (where only
prior was sale of $20, Application Note 5 encourages departure, so proper to depart 8 levels from
16 increase and sentence to 18 months in illegal reentry case. Court noted that the offense "did
not rise beyond the level of an attempt and did not involve a large quantity of drugs." D had only
one other prior conviction: for "farebeating," apparently a misdemeanor); U.S. v. Ortega-
Mendoza, 981 F.Supp. 694 (D.D.C. 1997) (departure downward to 30 months granted where
prior aggravated felony involved sale of only .2 grams of cocaine); U.S. v. Hinds, 803 F.Supp.
675 (W.D.N.Y. 1992), aff‘d, 992 F.2d 321 (2d Cir. 1993) (departure from 51 to 30 months
granted because criminal history overstated seriousness of priors).

103.   Alien Who Has Assimilated Into American Culture.

         U.S. v. Lipman, 133 F.3d 726 (9th Cir. 1998) (in illegal reentry case, the court held the
district court has authority to downward depart on the ground that the defendant had "culturally
assimilated" into American society – but district court considered and rejected the ground as a
matter of discretion – even through D lived in U.S. for twenty years since he was twelve,
fathered many citizen children, etc.); U.S. v. Castillo, 386 F.3d 632 (5th Cir. Sept. 22, 2004)
(district court‘s downward departure in illegal reentry case for cultural assimilation from 77 to 56
months not plain error where government did not state grounds of objection and where
defendant was brought to the United States at age three by his parents and continuously lived in
the United States, where he was educated and worked, becoming fluent in English, and defendant
had virtually no ties to Mexico, and he had spent virtually no time there) ; U.S. v. Rodriguez-
Montelongo 263 F.3d 429 (5th Cir. 2001) (where defendant came to U.S. when he was three,
became legal resident, received education, settled in Colorado with wife and children, and 22
years later convicted of felony and deported, but reentered illegally, reversible error not to
consider downward departure on basis of cultural assimilation); U.S. v. Sanchez-Valencia, 148



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F.3d 1273, 1274 (11th Cir.1998) (per curiam) (stating that the sentencing court was aware of its
authority to depart on this ground);

       District Court

        U.S. v. Reyes-Campos, 293 F.Supp. 2d 1252 (M.D. Ala. 2003) (in illegal reentry case,
two level downward departure granted to 25 year old Mexican who came to country with family
when he was nine –because he was culturally assimilated); U.S. v. Martinez-Alvarez, 256
F.Supp.2d 917 (E.D. Wisc. 2003) (in illegal reentry case, defendant granted one level downward
departure and sentenced to only (!) 51 months because of assimilation to U.S; he had spent entire
life (except for first 6 months) in U.S., had not family or ties in Mexico).

104 Alien May Receive Credit For Time Served On INS Detainer.

U.S. v. Camejo 333 F.3d 669 (6th Cir. 2003) (Where D was alien who pled guilty to assault and
who remained in INS detention for two years before trial, trial court was empowered to
downward depart to give credit to defendant because guidelines do not forbid this factor--case
remanded); U.S. v. Montez-Gaviria, 163 F.3d 697 (2d Cir. 1998) (district court can depart
downward for time D in custody on INS detainer not credited elsewhere, "nothing in the
Sentencing Guidelines precludes the district court from departing downward under §5K2.0 on the
basis of [the defendant's] uncredited time served in state custody"); U.S. v. Ogbondah, 16 F.3d
498 (2d Cir. 1994) (trial court has authority to depart downward to give D credit for time
technically spent on bail but actually spent incarcerated by the INS who took D into custody after
she posted bail. Neither D nor prosecutor aware of INS detainer. If D had known he would not
have requested bail. These circumstances not contemplated by guidelines);

105.   Defendant Does Not Understand Socially Unacceptable Nature Of Child
       Pornography.

U.S. v. Gifford, 17 F.3d 462, 475 (1st Cir. 1994) (downward departure justified when D does not
comprehend socially unacceptable nature of child pornography).

*106. The Totality Of The Circumstances.

       Caveat: For crimes committed after October 27, 2003 departure on this ground, under
       new USSG 5K2.0 (c), permitted "only if" the combined circumstances make the case "an
       exceptional one"[as opposed to “unusual” one] and each circumstance is present "to a
       substantial degree" and each circumstance is "identified in the guidelines as a
       permissible ground for departure," even if not ordinarily relevant. Question the force of
       this caveat in light of Booker.




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         For crimes committed before October 27, 2003, the he district court is authorized to
depart downward when the "combination of factors" indicate that a departure is appropriate.
U.S. v. Cook, 938 F.2d 149, 153 (9th Cir. 1991); U.S. v. Lam, 20 F.3d 999, 1003-005 (9th Cir.
1994) ("a number of convergent factors" supported conclusion that D's conduct aberrant); In Re
Sealed Case, 292 F.3d 913 (D.C.Cir. 2002) (defendant with no priors convicted of selling more
than 50 grams of crack to agent, facing 87-108 months, although judge‘s 24-month sentence
remanded because some departure grounds invalid (crack-powder disparity), on remand district
court may properly consider ―defendant's acceptance of responsibility, her desire to seek
rehabilitation, and her family and community ties‖ in a totality of the circumstances analysis even
though Commission considered these factors separately); U.S. v. Sabino, 274 F.3d 1053 (6th
Cir. 2001) (in scam to avoid paying taxes, a three level downward departure not abuse of
discretion for combination of factors including death of spouse, age of 72, ailments with eyes
and airs, absence of threat, absence of risk of flight, minor role); U.S. v. Coleman, 188 F.3d 354,
360 (6th Cir.1999) (en banc) (downward departure may be based on an aggregation of factors
each of which might in itself be insufficient to justify a departure); U.S. v. Jones, 158 F.3d 492
(10th Cir.1998); U.S. v. Rioux, 97 F.3d 648 (2d Cir. 1996) (following Koon, based on D‘s
health problems – severe kidney disease and good acts – charitable fund-raising – departure from
level 20 to level 10 and sentence of probation approved); U.S. v. Fletcher, 15 F.3d 553 (6th Cir.
1994) (combination of factors including age of priors justified departure from career offender);
U.S. v. Parham, 16 F.3d 844 (8th Cir. 1994); U.S. v. Broderson, 67 F.3d 452, 458-59 (2d Cir.
1995) (relying on U.S. v. Rivera, 994 F.2d 942 (1st Cir. 1993) (Breyer, J.)) (in fraud case,
district court has "better feel" for unique circumstances of the case; here combination of factors –
that loss overstated; seriousness of D's conduct; the restitution paid; that no personal benefit; that
contract favorable to government justify 7-level departure); U.S. v. Cuevas-Gomez, 61 F.3d 749
(9th Cir. 1995) (court may depart in aggravated reentry (immigration) case even though directed
to increase offense level by 16 levels).

District Court

U.S. v. Mateo , 299 F.Supp.2d 201 (S.D.N.Y. 2004) (heroin case 9 level departure granted
where the combination of Mateo's extraordinary family and pre-sentence confinement
circumstances even if the Court were to have concluded that the factors did not individually
support a departure); U.S. v. Allen, 250 F.Supp.2d 317 ((SDNY 2003)(Where D convicted of
drugs and guns, D entitled to 8 level departure under USSG 5K2.0 from 80 months to 30 months
because of combination of his mental immaturity-even though 21 behaves like 14 year old and
psychological problems and mild retardation); U.S. v. Nava-Sotelo, 232 F.Supp.2d 1269 (D.
N.M. 2002) (D convicted of assault and kidnapping, etc., arising from his aiding brother's escape
resulting in brother's death given six-level downward departure based on a ―combination of
exceptional mitigating factors, including family circumstances, incomplete duress, lesser harms,
community support, and civic, charitable and public support.‖ ); U.S. v. Rothberg, 222 F. Supp.
2d 1009 (N.D. Ill. 2002) (where defendant pled to copy right infringement without plea bargain,
and where, despite the government's refusal to file motion under § 5K1.1, defendant continued to
cooperate with the government, defendant showed extraordinary acceptance of responsibility,
and this, together with lack of profit and unusual family situation, warrants additional 2 level

                                               - 71 -
departure to 18-24 months); U.S. v. Bruder, 103 F.Supp.2d 155, 190 (E.D.N.Y. 2000) (in assault
case defendant‘s role in caring for his brother, who is a quadriplegic, four year service in Marine
Corps, notable record as a police officer, and receipt of numerous medals and letters of
recognition warrant a four-level reduction in Schwarz's offense level); U.S. v. Ribot, 97
F.Supp.2d 74 (D.Mass. 1999) (where D embezzled $200,000, court downward departs to
probation from range of 24-36 months based on combination of aberrant behavior and mental
illness); U.S. v. Somerstein, 20 F.Supp.2d 454 (E.D.N.Y. 1998) (defendant's history of
charitable efforts, exceptional work history, and experiences as a child victim of the Holocaust,
when considered together, created a situation which differed significantly from the "heartland" of
cases, and warranted a downward departure after defendant was convicted of mail fraud, making
false statements, and conspiracy in connection with actions taken as principal of a catering firm.
The defendant had performed numerous charitable works and was an exceptionally hardworking
person devoted to her profession, and the court stated that it "[S]imply . . . cannot see
incarcerating" defendant for her offenses after what she had experienced during the Holocaust, in
which she lost half of her family); U.S. v. Delgado, 994 F.Supp. 143 (E.D. N.Y. 1998) (three-
level downward departure to first-time offender, drug courier based on coercion from a creditor
and combination of aberrant behavior, defendant‘s fragility, and his exceptionally difficult life);
U.S. v. Patillo, 817 F. Supp. 839 (C.D.Cal. 1993) (complex of mitigating factors including
aberrant conduct, minimal role, and assistance to probation officer during L.A. riots).

107.   Sua Sponte Departure By Court.

        U.S. v. Vizcaino, 202 F.2d 345, 348 (D.C. Cir. Cir. 2000) (implicitly recognizing
authority of district court to depart sua sponte but finding no plain error not to do so); U.S. v.
Ekhator, 17 F.3d 53 (2d Cir. 1994) (even where D agreed not to ask for downward departure,
court may do so sua sponte if unusual family circumstances; remanded); U.S. v. Williams, 65
F.3d 301, 309-310 (2d Cir. 1995) (―we wish to emphasize that the Sentencing Guidelines do not
displace the traditional role of the district court in bringing compassion and common sense to the
sentencing process . . . In areas where the Sentencing Commission has not spoken . . . district
courts should not hesitate to use their discretion in devising sentences that provide individualized
justice‖)

       District Court

        U.S. v. Tanasi, 2003 WL 328303 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 6, 2003)(unpublished) (D convicted of
possessing and sending child porn by computer to undercover agent pretending to be 13 year
court sua sponte departs from 33-41 month guideline to 9 months because of diminished capacity
given ―obsessive and compulsive behavior‖ and could not control his conduct and where no
evidence D was a sexual predator or ever was involved sexually with a child); United States v.
Kim, 2003 WL 22391190 (SDNY Oct. 20, 2003) (Patterson, J.) (unpublished) (where 57-year
old naturalized citizen from Korea went to the United Nations and fired several shots at an 85
degree angle to call attention to plight of North Koreans and tossed pamphlets in the air
describing his native country as ―a nation groaning under the weight of starvation and dictatorial


                                               - 72 -
suppression, ‖ and waited to be arrested, and where he pled guilty to using a handgun to assault
foreign officials, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 112, and where guideline range of 30 tom 37months
in prison and bargain prohibited either side from seeking departure, trial judge sua sponte
departed downward by one level and imposed a sentence of 27 months. Judge attacks Feeney
amendment stating it was the ―latest attack on the third branch of the government‖ and overlooks
that ―obvious fact that trial judges are more qualified to determine a proper sentence than the
assistant U.S. attorneys making the reports.‖ Notes that ―U.S. attorneys already have immense
power in the criminal justice process under the Sentencing Guidelines‖ Courts said that ―If, as a
result of Congress' increasing pressure to eliminate any departures from the Guidelines, trial
judges' sentencing decisions do not comply with the basic tenets of fairness and justice, the
confidence of our citizens that the courts play an independent and fair role in the dispensation of
justice will be diminished or lost. Then our system of justice will be regarded as subservient to
the other branches of government - the system that prevailed for so many years behind the Iron
Curtain.‖); U.S. v. Marcus, 238 F. Supp.2d 227 (EDNY 2003) (In receipt of child porn case,
even though "the plea agreement precludes defendant from seeking downward departure," court
"sua sponte and for its own edification directs defendant to explore whether a basis for such a
departure exists…in that regard the defense has already provided the Court with …the "Able
Assessment Test," which purports to show that the defendant does not represent a risk to
children. Possibly that information, and or other information may serve as an appropriate
predicate for a downward departure; see generally, U.S. v. Silleg, 311 F.3d 557 (2d Cir. 2002)"
[Silleg discussed at Par. 37 above]); U.S. v. Henderson, CR -01-378 (D. Or. May 10, 2002
(unpublished) (in armed bank robbery case where plea bargain prohibited defense from seeking
departure, and over vigorous prosecution objection, Judge King departed 3 levels sua sponte,
from 57 to 41 months, based on aberrant conduct and super acceptance); U.S. v. Blackburn,
105 F.Supp.2d 1067 (D.S.D. 2000) (where D pled guilty to failure to pay child support and was
$15,000 in arrears, and where guideline called for 12-18 months of imprisonment with one year
of supervised release, court notes imprisonment counter-productive towards payment of child
support and grants downward departure on its own motion so court could impose a sentence of
probation rather than imprisonment to make sure that defendant would be subjected to a longer
term of supervision than would have been possible if sentence of imprisonment imposed); U.S.
v. Gonzalez-Bello, 10 F.Supp.2d 232 (E.D.N.Y. 1998) (substantial downward departure for
emotionally disturbed Venezuelan woman who carried drugs and who was prevented by her
attorney from cooperating with the government because he was hired by her handlers); U.S. v.
Arize, 792 F.Supp. 920 (E.D.N.Y.1992); U.S. v. Ramirez, 792 F.Supp. 922 (E.D.N.Y.1992).
U.S. v. Spiegelman, 4 F.Supp.2d 275, 285 (S.D.N.Y. 1985) (―it is well settled that district courts
may depart from the Sentencing Guidelines sua sponte”). But Note U.S. v. Burns, 501 U.S. 129
(1991) (before district court may depart court must give parties reasonable notice);

108. To Be Announced

                               !!!!!!! G O O D L U C K !!!!!!!




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